In the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, compliance with cybersecurity regulations is a non-negotiable requirement. Ensuring the safety of patient data and the operational continuity of your healthcare business is paramount. However, these regulations can sometimes feel cryptic. Here are six practical strategies to address compliance knowledge, risk management, and vendor management in your Healthcare organization.
1. Cultivate a Cybersecurity and Compliance-First Culture
Nurture an environment where everyone assumes responsibility for adhering to cybersecurity rules, not just the IT or legal departments. This includes regular employee training, sharing updates on recent industry breaches and penalties, and incorporating compliance adherence into employee evaluations. Remember, maintaining compliance is an ongoing task that requires consistent effort over multiple years.
2. Update and Patch Software Regularly
Outdated software presents a significant security risk due to its known vulnerabilities to the public. Therefore, it's essential to patch and update software as soon as these become available, leveraging a methodology like NIST 800-40. asset management to keep track of all devices and their updated statuses will further ensure compliance and reduce risk to critical systems.
3. Embrace the 405(d) HICP Framework
The 405(d) HICP Framework is a set of requirements created under the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 that provides healthcare organizations with a roadmap for cybersecurity best practices. Implementing this framework will guide your organization in key areas of cybersecurity compliance, such as email protection, access management, data loss prevention, asset management, vulnerability management, and medical device security.
4. Increase Visibility into ePHI
As healthcare becomes increasingly decentralized, having a comprehensive view of both structured and unstructured electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) across your network and the broader healthcare ecosystem is essential. This enhanced visibility will ensure data is created, stored, transferred, and shared securely, improving patient data protection and compliance with 405(d) HICP.
5. Manage Third-Party Risk
HIPAA mandates business associate agreements (BAAs) with vendors, but these alone can not fully manage third-party risk. It's vital to train vendors on your processes, limit their access, and establish safeguards against phishing attempts from those posing as vendors to manage risk to your sensitive data further. You can use stronger frameworks like HITRUST to manage risk more broadly for your data, meeting healthcare compliance goals.
6. Secure Mobile Devices
With healthcare increasingly leveraging mobile devices, ensuring these devices are configured and compliant with your internal policy and procedures is a must. Use encrypted methods for data flowing to, from, and stored in applications, require multi-factor authentication, and enable remote wiping of corporate data in case of device loss or theft.
Cybersecurity works together with Compliance
Healthcare cybersecurity and compliance are complex but necessary responsibilities that demand constant vigilance and action from an organization, its employees, and vendors. Following some of the strategies listed above, an organization can implement cybersecurity governance programs that work together with compliance to protect patient data, maintain compliance, increase risk management, and stay ahead of emerging threats and competitors.
Steel Patriot Partners focuses on implementing the best practices discussed above with organizations to significantly enhance their ability to quickly identify, assess, and mitigate business risks. Aligning risk management processes with governance and compliance frameworks is a complex and lengthy initiative; however, it ensures that cybersecurity efforts become integral to the organization’s overall risk management strategy. Steel Patriot Partners keeps up with evolving threats, implementing robust controls, and maintaining compliance reporting; organizations can establish a proactive approach to cybersecurity risk management and safeguard their digital assets. Schedule a time to discuss how Steel Patriot Partners makes cybersecurity and compliance less complex for your organization.