Healthcare breaches ran rampant in 2020 and experts expect the trend to continue in 2021.
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Many hackers took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and hasty switch to remote workforces and telehealth appointments.
The frequency of breaches rose drastically in the second half of 2020. One major source of breaches were third party business associates. Nearly three-quarters of breaches were tied to third parties.
This is important because it shows that a lack of adequate protection in any part of the security chain can lead to a breach.
Cybercriminals have found a sometimes easier way to attack, by going through billing companies, insurance reimbursement companies, and other third parties to secure valuable healthcare data.
So how do you protect your data from third-party breaches?
- Make sure your risk assessment is up to date, so that you know of any potential vulnerabilities within your own system;
- Make sure your business associate agreements are up to date and check with business associates to ensure their security measures are up to date;
- Find out what security measures your business associates have in place and whether they employ routine updates and password changes;
- Perform routine testing of your systems;
- Regularly communicate with your business associates to ensure their security policies and procedures are being followed.
While the above list will help protect your information, it is also essential to have a plan in place for when a breach occurs.
Make sure your office is trained for a potential breach and has backup procedures in place to operate, in the event your normal systems are not functioning.
We help our clients prepare for breaches and deal with the aftermath of breaches.
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