A patient using a cellphone

Securing Mobile Healthcare

9 Feb 2015 by Shay Moser

In today’s evolving healthcare industry, point-of-care technology can be rooted in laptops, tablets and other mobile devices. Physicians are using apps on their smartphones to access patient information, and millions of patients are monitored via mobile networks. According to Ben Nemeth, Insight practice architect, “This is only going to become more prevalent, as wearable devices constantly monitor the steps we take, our vital signs and more information on our daily activity.”

Mobile healthcare, however, is opening new attack pathways into networks. Laws such as HIPAA and HITECH saddle healthcare providers with more and more information security requirements. A key part of a successful electronic medical record (EMR) deployment is safeguarding data.

One avenue is encryption software for the data that is transferred over a mobile device. Encryption software can be installed onto a network to protect data that is sent wirelessly. However, since data is also stored on the mobile devices themselves, it’s essential that each device either has its encryption option activated, or has a separate app to encrypt the data. The security software should help protect against malware, spam and viruses. Updating the security software on all devices is a crucial as part of all IT processes.

Outdated software will not provide the protection healthcare professionals need—and their patients deserve. Ultimately, healthcare organizations need to:

  1. Ensure policies are defined to govern securing information
  2. Deploy a technological infrastructure that supports the policies
  3. Demonstrate their ability to detect a breach in a timely manner
  4. Respond to a breach in a timely manner

The mobile revolution has altered the ways we communicate and consume information, allowing healthcare providers to be more in touch with their patients while also more in touch with each other.

Get in touch with Insight’s healthcare team for help securing sensitive patient data.