How to Secure Healthcare Data using Enterprise Mobility Management Services
With the increasing usage of mobile devices in healthcare, securing data and protected health information (PHI) is becoming increasingly important. To secure healthcare mobile devices and data, utilization of enterprise mobility management solutions is important for healthcare professionals.
Enterprise mobility management (EMM) has been improved in the past several years allowing healthcare firms to address the risk associated with mobile devices, particularly the healthcare apps or systems storing sensitive patient data or PHI.
Despite this, the increasing usage of unauthorized mobile devices by care providers inside and outside healthcare centers to access PHI is a major challenge. Unsecure devices working on BYOD policies and third-party apps leave various technology security loopholes that hackers can utilize to bypass network security.
Implementing robust EMM solutions helps you avoid any exterior or interior threats related to healthcare data security. But implementing EMM solutions is not that easy. It should cover a large portion of your healthcare devices. Besides this, you also need software development solutions with easy deployment, well-defined management policies, and multiple data protection.
To apply EMM solutions in your healthcare setting, you should know about different data security threats. So, let’s cover one by one in detail:
Data Security Challenges in Healthcare
Data security is one of the biggest threats to the adoption of enterprise mobility services in healthcare. Patient data is extremely sensitive and vulnerable to outside attacks. Some of them include:
Omni Potent Employees
Healthcare employees are often the weakest link in healthcare data security practices. Hacking data from their devices or third-party apps is the easiest. Here is an example: a bunch of healthcare staff goes out to have coffee in a nearby shop and use its public WiFi with a less secure password.
Any hacker now can easily bypass this network security by cracking the password. Educating and training healthcare staff about public network and PHI risks is not enough today. You need to integrate EMM services or solutions tailored to your needs by working with an expert enterprise software development company.
Phishing and Ransomware Attacks
Phishing attacks are common in the healthcare domain. Disguising malware behind a trusted device or service is the easiest way to trick users under phishing. Mobile devices are particularly vulnerable to “watering hole” attacks - a category under phishing. Similarly, ransomware attacks challenge healthcare data security too. It includes sending malware data - through emails, files, or other digital forms to get access to restricted healthcare networks and steal data from them.
All of such threats can be neutralized by the adoption of mobile application management solutions. Such solutions verify apps already stored on user devices and restrict access to third-party apps outside the corporate network. For cloud-based apps, 2FA is applied for better security.
Loss of healthcare devices like laptops, iPad, and more by medical staff is another major issue to healthcare data security. Misuse of patient data from stolen devices can lead to serious consequences. Hence, setting up predetermined damage control protocols in case of loss of the device is vital. Installing file management software that regains data is one way of controlling the damage.
This challenge is again associated with healthcare professionals. The carelessness in changing passwords every week and applying strong passwords can result in loss of PHI. Hence, its vital that medical care providers apply comprehensive password policies for their staff to limit hacking incidents. This also makes phishing scams difficult due to higher password difficulty.
Shadow IT is another potent issue that healthcare organizations face right now. It includes the use of apps, software, and practices by healthcare staff that is currently restricted by their employers. For example use of Alexa for appointment booking at the healthcare desk is also an unauthorized practice. Not only its non-secure but presents the threat of healthcare data access by an outside firm - Amazon.
Shadow IT is not only limited to the usage of restricted healthcare IT solutions or apps by staff, but it also involves the entire IT infrastructure of healthcare
Hence, organizations should clearly set policies for access, storage, and transmission of PHI data maintained on both organizational-owned and private systems. The policies should also allow healthcare organizations to examine employee devices and cloud services used by them to ensure sensitive data can be wiped right away.
Overcome Healthcare Data Security Challenges
To address the above data security challenges in healthcare, it's important for healthcare practitioners to apply and integrate robust enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions.
Popular components under EMM are as follows :
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
MDM is among the key pills of enterprise mobility management strategy. Its main role includes managing devices carrying EMM solutions. From troubleshooting, OS configuration to remote access - MDM tracks every device activity and protects it in case it’s lost or stolen. MDM solutions support all kinds of OSes, including Android, iOS solutions, and more. MDM is the foundation of EMM, but it fails to cover other areas like device content management, etc.
Mobile Application Management (MAM)
MAM includes supervising the usage of commercial and third-party apps in a healthcare network by users. It ensures restricted apps are not accessible in the healthcare network. Applying policies to specific apps is also a part of MAM, It's pretty handy in case of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios as IT network administrators can manage a variety of iOS and Android apps used by medical staff.
Mobile Content Management (MCM)
Mobile content management comprises content management, delivering content and services to mobile devices. It also works in collaboration as it enables file sharing and file storage management on mobile devices. MCM has also the features of file transfer from devices to the cloud and vice versa.
MCM includes spring and delivering content on mobile devices. It controls the way files are shared b/w users in a healthcare setting. Things like file type, transfer method, storage duration, and access rights fall under MCM. MCM also manages file distribution under cloud services network
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
It is an important component of EMM from the security viewpoint. IT ensures the right users have access to the right data at any point in time. IAM controls users’ information and authenticates their identity before allowing network access.
Finally, these four components work in tandem under EMM to provide robust security for mobile devices, including the data accessed by these devices in a healthcare environment.
Utilizing Enterprise Mobility Management Solutions to Safeguard HealthCare Data
No doubt healthcare software solutions have made it easier for care providers to access critical data in real-time anytime, anywhere from any device; but it's important to not lose, expose or scramble that information due to poor data security practices.
By integrating robust EMM solutions, healthcare IT managers can set up a secure environment for medical staff for using personal and professional applications.
Here are some ways to use EMM suites for improving healthcare data protection:
Biometric authentication and Secure Passcodes
You can apply biometric authentication for screen unlock using mobile device management tools in your healthcare setting. It is robust security practice to safeguard and limit access to sensitive data, Applications with biometric security works even better at healthcare premises. If no biometric security, then create comprehensive password policies under EMM for various mobile devices in the network. Apply measures under EMM that forces users to change passwords regularly and restrict them from using the same passwords again.
Robust Application controls
With MAM solutions, IT administrators in your healthcare setting can enable trusted applications only for usage under the healthcare network. They can easily whitelist or blacklist after analyzing MAM compliance to reduce the possibility of device compromise. This minimizes the possibility of malware introduction and data leakage too.
Disk encryption enforcement
EMM tools also allow healthcare network administrators to make sure the default storage encryption settings are not tampered by anyone. Apply disk encryption is one of the important healthcare device security practices.
Ensuring HIPAA Compliance
EMM solutions also ensure healthcare software solutions running in your premise stay compliant with healthcare data security standards and regulations. Such policies are vital to prevent unauthorized usage of medical data by people outside your hospital. Various policies like BYOD, HIPAA, etc. are created by healthcare firms for secure storage, access, and transmission of patient data. MDM devices or solutions ensure compliance with all healthcare data privacy laws. You might need to bring in a third-party enterprise mobility management services provider for successful implementation.
Securing Data from Lost Devices
EMM solutions can be used to recover and delete sensitive healthcare data from lost or stolen devices. To wipe out data and restrict usage, various EMM methods can be used, including network restrictions, SSO, VPN, certificates, and more
Enterprise mobility management solutions are increasing in popularity for delivering better while ensuring robust security.
If you are a healthcare provider looking for EMM solutions to improve network security, connect with us at A3logics.
Drop us a line to know more about our enterprise mobility solutions & services.