According to the 2014 Experian Data Breach Industry Forecast, those currently employed in the allied healthcare industry are at great risk for data breaches. Healthcare industry workers must be careful to adhere to the new privacy and data breach regulations in the HIPAA Omnibus Rule. Those who don’t comply will likely face heftier fines due to HIPAA’s new requirements.
Despite an increase in the purchase of cyber protection policies many are still at risk for costly and damaging data breaches. According to Experian’s report, more than 1.8 million Americans were victims of medical identity theft before the end of 2013. This is due in part to the fact that many professionals are not trained in the securing of Protected Health Information (PHI). Therefore, health information is at serious risk of being compromised.
We wish to provide a few helpful tips aimed at helping healthcare professionals protect themselves against the imminent threats in the healthcare industry.
- Encrypt sensitive data
While encryption may be expensive, considering the rate of medical identity theft and the new stricter requirements in place it is quite necessary for most healthcare professionals. Encrypting desktops, laptops and other devices that may contain sensitive data is an essential layer of protection.
- Educate employees to the dangers
Employees must be educated about possible data breaches, and procedures should be in place in order to safeguard medical data. For example, employees should be aware of possible malware that could accidentally infect computers with the simple click on an untrustworthy link (or while downloading software from unknown sources).
- Invest in a cyber insurance policy
Data breaches have grown more common due to the growing sophistication of cyber attacks. Because healthcare professionals deal with sensitive data on a daily basis, it is beneficial to secure data as well as limit one’s financial risk when, and if, a data breach occurs. Allied healthcare professionals gain much-needed protection against hefty fines and fees associated with cyber crimes by investing in a cyber insurance policy.
Research the cyber insurance policy before purchasing this important coverage. It is important to find a policy that includes a risk management program in the cost of coverage in order to minimize both risk and cost. Be sure to read the cyber liability insurance policy to ensure that the required coverage is being offered and seek out insurance agents with extensive knowledge on the subject.