Published on November 25th, 2019
With more and more organizations facing data breaches and cyber-threats, healthcare data security becomes a priority for every medical facility. What is identity and access management, and why is it important for healthcare? Let’s talk about it in this post.
What Is Identity And Access Management?
To fully understand why identity management matters in healthcare, we need to start with the basics.
What Is The HIPAA Security Rule In Healthcare?
One of the most significant regulatory documents that were passed at the government level is HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
HIPAA covers the four major aspects – patient e-records’ security, information privacy, administrative details, as well as patient insurance portability.
However, the protection of electronic health records remains the top priority. This aspect is called the HIPAA Security Rule, which is also divided into several components.
Yet, its primary goal is to control access to sensitive information, making sure that only the right people can view it at the right time.
What Is Healthcare Access Management, And Why Should You Care?
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a framework of technologies and policies for ensuring data security and proper access to resources within an enterprise.
IAM, in its traditional sense, is on-premise security software, but as technology develops, more and more enterprises move to the cloud, making identity management solutions easier to implement and maintain.
Why Is Identity Management In Healthcare Important?
Regardless of the type of healthcare facility you work at, hundreds of people visit it every single day. As a doctor or nurse, you need to provide good care for all these people, but you also need to make sure that their information is intact.
Healthcare identity management solutions were designed to protect sensitive patient’s data and ensure that they get high-quality medical help at the same time.
So why is information security so important in healthcare? It’s one of those industries that undergo constant cyber-attacks.
Given the type of data stored in medical databases, it makes total sense to take additional measures to regulate the use of this information.
The introduction of electronic health records addressed many problems, but it also created new challenges for healthcare professionals.
hings like the lack of effective governance, outdated software with poor user experience, and having to remember multiple logins and juggle between passwords, significantly affect the work of doctors and nurses.
And that’s the reason why identity management systems are just as important as having a decent identity management strategy for their use.
What Are The Benefits Of Having An IAM Strategy?
1. Control Over The Network Access
Due to multi-factor authentication and other security features in the identity management and healthcare software, it’s possible to control who has the right to access the network.
Every individual who is going to work with patients’ health records as a part of their job responsibilities must have their own user account.
You might as well set up a policy to ordain what type of password they should create, how often they are to change it, and more. No user account – no access.
2. Control Over User Rights
It’s possible to determine what apps or network parts each user can access. This is a great way to minimize the risk of a data breach due to a human error.
Based on the principle of least privilege, each employee will be able to view just enough information to do their job effectively. There are many ways to make it work.
One of the most effective approaches is creating groups with certain access rights and assigning users to them based on their job duties.
3. Performing Regular Audits
Not following HIPAA requirements can result in penalties or significant fines. That’s why it’s important to keep your hand on a pulse of everything that’s going on within the organization.
IAM software enables you to perform regular audits and generate reports. You’ll have the tools to make sure that the patient information is stored and managed per all the HIPAA requirements.
4. Getting Rid Of Old Accounts
User accounts of people who no longer work in your organization are the greatest source of threat for your patient’s data.
That’s the most frequent point of access used by cyber-criminals. With a decent strategy in place, you’ll account for that possibility in advance and disable old or expired users when it’s due.
What Are Some Good Integrated Identity Access Management Solutions For Healthcare?
Identity management solutions are essential for protecting patients’ privacy and building trust between clinicians and patients.
Companies like Hideez specialize in business authentification and security solutions for various industries, including healthcare.
Their HIPAA compliant tools are designed to improve access control and authentication in your healthcare facility.