Over the course of a single year, almost 4 million people are victims of a data breach. In the healthcare sector, there is around one data breach reported every day. Experts have even predicted that the healthcare industry will incur two to three times more cyberattacks than other industries. This is very worrying news, especially for small healthcare providers. The cost of recovery from an average cyberattack can amount to more than $1 million. This is clearly something that is untenable for a small provider. So how can practices better protect themselves? The right electronic healthcare payment system could be instrumental.
What Is Healthcare Data Privacy?
There is a rule in place called HIPAA compliance. This is the standard for healthcare data privacy. It establishes a national standard for protecting patient health information (PHI) and medical records. This rule demands practices put proper safeguards in place to ensure the security and privacy of PHI. All sensitive data must, therefore, have proper protection at every practice. However, achieving HIPAA compliance isn’t as easy as it may seem.
Why Is Data Security So Vital for Healthcare Practices?
The security of data is absolutely vital in the healthcare industry because it represents an attractive opportunity for cybercriminals. Currently, cybercrime is costing the world’s economy more than $400 billion per year, and that figure is rising. The cost of breaches of healthcare data currently stands at around $400 per record. While credit card data retails for a few dollars, patient health data retail on the dark web for almost $400.
The Security Challenges Posed to Healthcare Data
Most breaches of healthcare data are solely motivated by money. Healthcare workers often use patient information to commit fraud. This sector is also a very easy target for cybercrime. There are lots of interconnected individuals who can access billing and medical records. Also, there is a culture of overconfidence in the industry, as well as poor enforcement and poor training. As a result, patient data are at high risk.
How Do Practices Improve Healthcare Cybersecurity?
Of course, all practices have different healthcare data cybersecurity needs. Small, rural practices, for example, have different requirements than large-scale metropolitan hospitals. However, all organizations must determine which data require protection. Then, they must choose the appropriate safety measures.
Using antivirus software and a firewall will protect against any malicious intrusions. Firewalls inspect messages that come from outside the organization. Then, they determine whether they should permit the messages to proceed depending on some predetermined criteria. Meanwhile, antivirus software stops any dangerous software that has already entered your system.
Passwords are a key defense against cybercrime. You must encourage all employees to have strong passwords and to change them regularly. This can eliminate up to 80 percent of all cyberattacks.
Should a data breach occur, the incident must be immediately disclosed to the security team. When authorities are rapidly notified, information may be quickly recovered. As time passes, recovering that data becomes much harder.
How Can Practices Protect an Electronic Healthcare Payment System?
With more practices now relying on online patient payment solutions, it’s important to ensure excellent security. It’s vital to choose a system that is fully HIPAA compliant and that is also fully secure. Patients prefer to use a practice that has a highly secure system that will guarantee their peace of mind. Meanwhile, practices can be confident they won’t suffer a data breach that could prove damaging to their finances and reputation.
BillingTree offers an outstanding electronic healthcare payment system that is leading the way in the industry. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology it employs, medical organizations of all sizes can guarantee the security of their data.