Application Security: A Critical Healthcare Requirement
Originally posted on https://ncntechnology.com/application-security-a-critical-healthcare-requirement/
In the arena of healthcare and HIPAA compliance, ensuring application security from data breaches isn’t an option, it’s mandatory.
Throughout the servers of senior living centers all over the world exists a huge amount of data.
Needed prescriptions, doctors records, and recommended treatments are all examples of this data.
Information technology (IT) applications are used to store and communicate all this data.
A high level of application security within these IT systems is a must for two main reasons. One is the sensitive nature of the data contained within these applications. The other is the importance that it gets communicated in an accurate manner.
Why is application security so important in the sector of healthcare IT?
APPLICATION SECURITY AND PATIENT DATA
The need for a high level of application security as it relates to the typeof information dealt with within the healthcare sector is obvious.
The state of one’s health is information as sensitive as, if not more so, the state of one’s financial health. The same, someone with access to this type of personal information has the ability to negatively affect your future.
One gives financial advisors access to their financial data in hopes of positively affecting their future in this regard. Similarly, one gives health professionals–doctors, senior living caregivers, etc.–access to their health data in hopes that they can provide proper care to positively affect their future.
In both areas, there are also malicious individuals seeking to access and leak this information. Reports show that 1 in 4 healthcare installations suffered ransomware attacks in 2018.
Again, security within healthcare applications is critical.
Consider again the type of data constantly being traded from application to application. Software within the healthcare sector must rank at the high end of data security, right?
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. One of the three factors with the highest level of vulnerabilities in this regard is information leakage.
APPLICATION SECURITY AND DATA INTEROPERABILITY
What were the other two factors with the highest levels of vulnerability? Cryptographic issues and quality of coding.
Why is this also so troubling?
It’s because these are key aspects of proper interoperability between such applications. Here is a quick overview of interoperability within the healthcare system. We see it to consist of three primary components:
- One application must be able to acknowledge receipt of information from another application.
- Meaning and purpose must be accurately conveyed as data moves across applications.
- Data coding must be able to be interpreted by the receiving application.
If a system is vulnerable because of cryptographic issues and code quality, all three of these factors are at risk.
When these factors are at risk, so are those in your care. When those in your care are at risk, so is your organization.
Consider if a medical professional or caregiver is either unable to access or given inaccurate information. Wrongful diagnosis or wrongful prescription could lead to improper treatment.
At its most severe, the level of application security had can be the difference between life and death.
LESSEN YOUR LIABILITY
When dealing with such sensitive information, the level of liability you possess can be overwhelming.
It’s for the sake of your organization and those in your care that a high level of security within your IT systems is so critical.
Do you run a healthcare installation, such as a clinic or senior living organization? Are you concerned about the level of application security you currently have? If so, get in touch with us for a consultation on the right security solutions for you.
By doing so, you can rest easy and lessen your liability.
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