Healthcare data breaches have been on the rise in recent years. Medical data is always a big target for cybercriminals as it is much more valuable than personal information alone. Many of these data breaches are considered an outside cyber attack – a lapse in cybersecurity due to a hacker infiltrating the networks of a doctor’s office, clinic, medical lab, insurer, or another medical provider. However, other network security events can be caused by an employee either knowingly or unknowingly breaking corporate policy. Whatever the cause, the end result is typically the same: the healthcare company’s information is stolen or exposed to any number of unauthorized outsiders.
A data lapse can be expensive, particularly if it involves a more significant violation. Here are five things your healthcare company should do in case of a privacy breach.
Ensure Timely and Appropriate Response
The first thing you should do after your company experiences a privacy breach is to make a timely and appropriate response. This helps to stop the effects of the breach before it’s too late or before a more significant violation occurs. In accordance with applicable laws, notification should be made promptly within thirty days after the discovery of the lapse, and should include notification to all appropriiate parties for their immediate action as well.
Identify The Root of the Problem
It’s essential for your company to identify the source of the problem. Your company should seek to know who is responsible for the violation, either external or internal personnel. This may involve carrying out a risk analysis to determine the nature and the scope of the data breach, its vulnerabilities, as well as its origin. You should also identify how the breach occurred, checking the servers and the systems carefully. Knowing the source of the problem is essential as it helps you develop security controls to stop further risks.
Seek Assistance from Legal and Security Professions
You should consult the legal and security profession to seek their help. Your legal team can assess your notification plan and help you draft documentation and communications related to the breach. They can also offer you advice on how to handle the people responsible for the violations and help you to prepare for any potential liability lawsuits. Additionally, seeking counsel from a healthcare IT security firm helps you dive deep into any identified security vulnerabilities. They can also help you ensure you have the proper security controls in your IT infrastructure.
Address the Threats
While immediate threats should be dealt with as soon as the data breach is identified, other outstanding issues may still need to be resolved after the violation is halted and the involved individuals are identified. You should do a thorough security review to identify any other risks that may bring about the same impact. You should work to implement security controls to protect your systems against future attacks.
Manage the Resulting Consequences
If not well managed, a healthcare data breach can lead to long-lasting consequences. These privacy violations can lead to expensive fines for your company depending on the circumstances surrounding the breach. You should update or create policies and strategies to smoothly manage the fallout by repairing the damaged relationships and rebuilding trust in your company.
Address the Threat
While immediate threats should be dealt with as soon as the data breach is identified, other outstanding issues may still need to be resolved after the violation is halted and the involved individuals are identified. You should do a thorough security review to identify any other risks that may bring about the same impact. You should also work to implement security controls and threat and vulnerability assessment protocols to protect your systems against future attacks.