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5 top ailments affecting the healthcare data security infrastructure

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While hospitals and healthcare systems have already been probably the most popular targets of hackers and cybercriminals recently, that picture is beginning to improve at many organizations.

Hospitals are usually improving at protecting data. Most are updating their health it infrastructure and implementing stronger data security measures. Included in these are encryption of most healthcare data stored, two-factor login authentication, and workforce security training programs.

But that road to recovery still eludes some healthcare systems.

To obtain a better notion of how data has been protected in the healthcare system, VentureBeat spoke to Victor Low, senior director of IT at Q-Centrix, an organization focusing on healthcare data management.


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Common challenges impacting healthcare data infrastructure

Unfortunately, many hospitals and healthcare centers have problems with symtoms of inadequate data infrastructure, staffing or strategy, Low said.

These obstacles block the flow of data sharing, causing it to become a lot more complex and complicated. Consequently, most healthcare systems elect to lock down the info for protection, while overlooking the necessity for data integration and sharing, he explained.

You can find five common challenges that hospitals and healthcare systems face while managing their data and data infrastructure, Low said. They’re:

1. Having less skilled resources and role-based training

This consists of staff that are properly been trained in clinical data collection and management technology. Without these resources, data could be more vunerable to attack and subsequent misuse, Low said. Hospital and healthcare systems could make greater investments into these areas to handle these issues.

2. Dated technology, security and documentation

No MFA (multifactor authentication), SSO (single to remain), no encryption. Without advanced and modern security protections, data is more prone to be compromised within an attack, Low said.

3. Complex (and confusing) technology architecture

Low remarked that healthcare systems are specially susceptible to silos and orphan systems. Healthcare systems have been through multiple mergers and consolidation in the last few years. During integration, each healthcare system brings on the existing processes, technologies and personnel, he explained.

It requires huge effort and resources to transition in one system to some other and, in the interim, existing systems are kept set up as a stopgap. Oftentimes, these stopgaps stick to because of deprioritization or dependencies and, as time passes, it builds along with one another and becomes overlooked.

4. Multiple oversight and regulatory environment/partners involved

Health systems have their very own internal security team and outsource a few of the security assessment and/or security work to third parties for best practice. However, these will often bring about miscommunication, an overlap of responsibilities and long turnaround, Low notes.

A remedy, he said, may be the forming of an individual security and compliance committee, made up of key stakeholders from different areas who gather frequently to produce a framework and roadmap. This might help uncover underlying risks and inefficiencies in security and compliance and offer a guiding star to existing and new processes and technologies.

5. Its likely to take a lot more than only a shot to cure healthcares data security woes

Fixing the info security infrastructure for healthcare will have a long-term investment in people and technology. Summing from the aforementioned points, any technology improvement/implementation would take multiple-fold of effort, time and resources for healthcare systems to remediate, along with being truly a low-margin business, Low said.

He thought to streamline the procedure, developing a roadmap and framework for technology implementation and lifecycle will be a good start.

Another good practice to enforce across a healthcare organization is tracking and monitoring all vendors, holding them to exactly the same standards and process companywide. Low explained this might have a threefold effect, for the reason that it could significantly decrease the vetting and assessment process for the security and technology team, [take] the guessing workout of the procedure for different vendors and [reduce] overhead.

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