Today’s healthcare providers are extremely aware of the importance of protecting patient data and meeting HIPAA compliance regulations. However, being compliant doesn’t necessarily mean your organization is properly or effectively managing its cybersecurity risks.

While the number of healthcare records compromised in 2017 was significantly lower than previous years, healthcare providers were still responsible for most of 2017’s data breach reports.

Healthcare Security Compliance Can Be Complicated

There are many reasons why healthcare organizations struggle to stay on top of security compliance and open themselves up to the possibility of an attack.

One of the biggest reasons that cybersecurity can be challenging for healthcare organizations is because there is so much to manage. Not only do healthcare IT professionals have to worry about protecting their data and networks from outside technical threats, they also have to consider their employees as either unwitting, or malicious inside threats. A large number of breaches are due to the mishandling of information by employees who are simply not paying attention. As a result, having the proper policies in place for mobile devices, employee work habits, and internal IT processes are all important aspects of healthcare IT security.

Additionally, IT professionals must be on-guard against new and evolving cybersecurity threats in healthcare—and those threats change with every new release of operating systems and applications. Cyber-criminals are constantly looking to find new ways to infiltrate healthcare companies. It’s important but challenging for companies to also stay on top of all these new cybersecurity threats.

5 Reasons BALLAST Makes Healthcare Security Compliance Easier

Our team at LBMC Information Security has secured the networks of healthcare organizations for more than 20 years. BALLAST is a tool we built as a result of this experience. It was specifically created to help healthcare organizations simplify the compliance process and take reasonable and appropriate measures toward protecting against a potential attack. Here are a few specific ways BALLAST helps make the security compliance process easier:

  1. Eliminate the Guesswork (and Hard Work) of Risk Assessments. With BALLAST’s one-click risk analysis reporting feature, health providers can simplify the process of reporting on HIPAA risk assessment requirements. It also has a built-in task management tool to eliminate the manual process of making sure the appropriate action items are being executed timely.
  2. Ensure You’re Protecting All of Your Patient Data and Medical Devices. BALLAST is a tool that can help you ensure that you are considering all the risks to your environment. This includes taking the proper steps to ensure that security is considered in purchasing medical devices, educating hospital staff on cybersecurity best practices, and enabling them to help protect these mission-critical assets.
  3. Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest Threats. Because our team spends each day trying to stay ahead of trends in healthcare security, we know the emerging threats IT professionals should watch for. Using packages of known threats and controls, BALLAST is specifically-designed to help healthcare organizations, large and small, evolve the processes and systems needed to take on the biggest cyber-threats head-on.
  4. Proactively Prepare for a Potential OCR Audit. With the revamped protocol requirements, preparing for an OCR audit can be overwhelming. That’s where BALLAST comes in. In addition to helping you eliminate the guesswork and hard work of HIPAA risk assessments, BALLAST also incorporates the latest OCR protocol requirements in the event your hospital is selected for an audit.
  5. Create a Breach-Resistant System to Protect Against Ransomware. There’s a lot that goes into protecting your organization or hospital against a ransomware attack. BALLAST puts you in the driver’s seat and provides turn-by-turn directions for everything that’s needed to protect your organization against possible ransomware threats.

To learn more about how BALLAST can simplify the compliance process and create a holistic approach to cybersecurity, connect with our team today.

Mark Fulford

Mark Fulford

Mark Fulford, CISSP, CISA, ABCP, CRISC, is a Shareholder in the risk services division of LBMC, PC. With nearly 25 years of experience in information security audit and compliance, Mark understands how to translate technical jargon into actionable intelligence. With significant experience in healthcare, his expertise includes assisting companies with Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA & PCI, HITRUST compliance, as well as providing assurance to clients and their stakeholders through SOC 1 and 2 reporting engagements. More recently, his focus has been on helping organizations identify and manage information security risks through both guided and automated risk assessment techniques.