Cybersecurity and EMR (Electronic Medical Records)

Cybersecurity and EMR (Electronic Medical Records)

Electronic medical records (EMR) make the life of patients easier by allowing medical professionals to share records effortlessly. However, when records are added to electronic devices, there’s always the risk of security threats.

Health administrators often work with our cybersecurity company in Miami to reduce the risk of cyberattacks against EMRs.

5 Electronic Medical Record Cybersecurity Tips

1. Create a Cyberthreat Assessment

First and foremost, undergoing a threat assessment is crucial when storing electronic medical records. A threat assessment will:

  • Look for weaknesses in your security
  • Find areas that need more security

Every security assessment is enlightening because it shows you just how many security gaps exist. Once an evaluation is done, you can begin fixing any risks you have and work through another test to see if your new measures fixed holes in your current security program.

2. Build Out Security Policies and Protocols

Your security starts with the teams you employ. For example, let’s imagine that a nurse grabs a patient record, scans it with their own device and then sends it back to their work device. The nurse wasn’t trying to be malicious, but her phone’s camera works better than the work device.

Unfortunately, this is a break of policy and protocol because it allows unsecure devices to access these pertinent documents.

Medical facilities should have strict:

  • Device usage policies and procedures
  • Access rules for EMR
  • Policies on how to handle documents
  • Rules for what to do for data breaches

When documents are shared, strict policies must also be in place. Training teams and employees on proper security measures can strengthen your EMR security.

3. Integrate Segmentation Firewalls

Firewalls are the gatekeepers to your network. However, you must go beyond basic firewalls and begin using segmentation. Internal segmentation firewalls work to do a few things:

  • Isolate private data
  • Add security layers

If a hacker can get through one firewall, they still do not have access to the data inside of the internal firewall. With the integration of more devices in the health and medical industry, we suspect that internal segmentation firewalls will become a standard.

4. Beware of Encryption Blind Spots

Encryption is crucial for all data transmission. If you want to meet HIPAA requirements, encryption is the easiest way. The main issue is that it’s difficult to monitor this data, leading to blind spots.

Adding another layer outside of encryption fills in these blind spots so that network teams can monitor the network correctly.

5. Deploy Malware and Ransomware Protection

Malware and ransomware are two key areas where EMR and EHR are often targeted. HHS’ cybersecurity program states that these two threats are top threats in the industry. A few ways to protect against these threats include:

  • Backups to restore systems to right before ransomware occurred
  • Malware protection software
  • Real-time scanning solutions for email and all file downloads

Electronic medical records must be secure. If you follow the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to hardening your EMR security. Our cybersecurity company in Miami can help you begin building out your security plan.