The Heart of Healthcare Data Security- De-Risking Test and Production Environments

With resources and infrastructure being limited, healthcare organizations continue to struggle with securing critical healthcare information from cybercriminals. With cyberattacks becoming increasingly sophisticated, organizations must take steps to monitor risks and lay the foundation for enterprise-wide data security

As custodians of large amounts of Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), healthcare organizations can’t ignore lurking security risks that can lead to significant financial, legal and reputational losses. According to a study by Ponemon Institute, the cost of a data breach to healthcare organizations was USD 363 per capita in 2015, which is far higher than in any other sector.

Security breaches are not limited to the production environment. To meet the time-to-market pressures, production data is used for application, integration, and performance testing. In such a scenario, lack of adequate access controls and data usage by a wider audience inflates the risk of data breaches in the test environment. Adopting security best practices and a comprehensive approach to protecting PHI and PII in test and production environments is imperative to tackling the data security issue effectively. In our opinion, the Assess, Remediate, and Monitor (ARM) framework is a highly effective tool to prioritize, safeguard, and monitor vulnerable data and applications.

Often, it is not the lack of technology that slows down cyber security efforts in the production environment. Rather, it is the lack of clarity on where to start in order to minimize risk in a prioritized fashion.

The spate of healthcare security breaches has highlighted the fact that healthcare data holds immense value not only for healthcare organizations but also for unscrupulous entities. Robust healthcare data security goes beyond preventing data breaches. It creates superior business value by enabling healthcare organizations to adopt new business models and technologies rapidly, paving the way for enhanced efficiencies and competitive advantage.

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