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What healthcare startups need to know to create a secure environment for sensitive data

Actions ranging from data theft to ransomware cost the healthcare industry over $9.2 million on average for every breach, according to data from IBM. Healthcare startups and healthcare organizations that use protected health information have to presume they are potential targets for cybersecurity attacks and data breaches and plan accordingly. Health IT vendor Ventech Solutions has published a white paper designed to provide guidance to health tech startups and healthcare organizations on steps they can take to ensure the security of a healthcare data infrastructure to support tech development and reduce the cybersecurity threat to their businesses.

Ventech Solutions developed a suite of tools designed to support healthcare organizations. Its cloud solution helps customers satisfy regulatory requirements, best practices and compliance as appropriate with the Healthcare Information Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), HITRUST certification, and the guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The report highlights the importance of achieving measurable compliance with required and effective security practices and guidance to help manage healthcare data-related security risks and ensure businesses can securely focus their core activities in a cost-effective and value-focused way.

“Businesses that house and use the most sensitive data about a person, protected health information (PHI) and personal identifying information (PII) have a critical responsibility as the stewards of that data to ensure they protect the rights and privacy of the individuals,” according to the report. “HIPAA-aligned security programs must address the integrity of the IT systems infrastructure, including access controls and monitoring procedures as well as technical elements supporting prevention, detection, and remediation of issues.”

Healthcare companies should integrate their development, security, and operations with environmental protections, the report advised. PHI and PII privacy laws and regulations and security guidance for the specialized data need to be part of the organization’s culture.

It also advises companies to assess what markets (businesses, individuals, locales, and jurisdictions) they will be in. Depending on the jurisdiction, its rules may follow the person, such as a European national with data included in a U.S. jurisdiction. Healthcare companies need to know the rules, regulations, and laws that apply to their business, the report says.

When it comes to the company’s systems infrastructure, the report recommends implementing standards at every level including development, testing and production.

“Consistent images, use of the same services and commercial products and the same architectures, by every developer reduces risks whether the IT product is a product or developed software.”

For more insight on navigating best practices for maintaining a secure environment for healthcare data, fill out the form below to download the whitepaper, Securing and Operating Healthcare Data Environments.

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