Mount a Healthy Defense
Unauthorized access to a network at a hospital or clinic could jeopardize day-to-day operations, not to mention the health of a patient. A secure network is essential to achieve compliance with HIPAA, HITECH, and other security regulations and to avoid the risks and large fines associated with data breaches. At the same time, caregivers and staff at hospitals and physicians' offices need quick access to patient data and applications to facilitate collaboration, deliver quality care, and manage operations.
The electronic exchange of health information is improving patient care and safety while increasing efficiencies for healthcare providers and insurers. However, electronic health records (EHRs) also increase the risk of accidental or malicious data loss. Providers of all sizes need to take steps to protect their networks and safeguard patient information with layers of security, including firewalls and security tools.
Create Layers of Security
Securing your network begins at the gateway, and layers of security guard your network servers and clients from viral and malware attacks, data theft, and careless users. The firewall provides the first line of defense against attacks of all types. Other layers likely include:
- Anti-virus and content security tools to protect your network from viruses, spam, spyware, and other attacks
- Intrusion prevention systems to detect and stop fast-spreading threats before they harm your network
- Virtual Private Networks (VPN) for secure remote access
- Wireless network security
- Identity management and strong policy enforcement to control who and what can access the network
- Compliance validation to make sure that any device accessing the network meets your security requirements
Medical offices must, at a minimum, install anti-virus software on their PCs, turn on firewalls, and keep systems up to date. As a best practice, download and install updates as soon as you get alerts. Good patching procedures and firewall rules go far in protecting your organization and your patient data.
Control Network Access
With a single sign-on to a PC or network, physicians and clinicians can access critical applications efficiently and securely while they focus on delivering care. In conjunction with endpoint virtualization, single sign-on streamlines secure access to patient data and increases speed and quality of care with fast user-switching at shared workstations. It also reduces password resets.
Make a Secure Connection
Advanced VPN clients enable secure remote access from any endpoint—including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones—ensuring only authorized people and devices can connect to your healthcare facility's network.
VPN employs multiple encryption methodologies and tunneling protocols that can simplify remote network deployments and allow you to add new applications without disrupting network performance. These solutions automatically monitor network activity and take action if people or devices misuse their access.
Reporting and management are a big part of HIPAA compliance, and software products can make this easier. IT administrators can monitor their network security infrastructure—firewalls, backup and recovery, secure remote access, and email security appliances—from a dashboard. These packages also offer reports needed to comply with HIPAA regulations.
Where to Start?
Connection's assessments can help your organization improve network efficiency and uncover security weaknesses while addressing patient privacy regulations. We offer a variety of internet and intranet security assessments, penetration and vulnerability testing, and VPN and Wireless Assessment Services. We can also provide hardware, software, and remediation plans to help secure your critical data.
To learn more, complete our Information Request Form or contact an
Account Executive at 1-800-369-1047.