By Oliver Paterson, director of product management, VIPRE Security Group.
The healthcare sector is predicated on protecting all sensitive information for a practice and its patients. Threats come from every direction, whether through email, an attachment, a malicious link, or simply the penetration of a security system.
Solutions are aplenty but with various degrees of effectiveness and durability, not to mention complexity and quality of protection for the practice, all are important factors when measuring benefits versus risk. As healthcare practice leaders attempt to mitigate their continuous onslaughts of threats, possible breaches, and potential bad actors, automating security measures can alleviate trouble, distractions, and chaos caused by a breach or other malicious activity.
While most in healthcare don’t like to discuss the ugly but open secret, email is a significant factor in many data breaches. Therefore, advanced levels of protection for Outlook and other email servers are essential, and add-on solutions solve the problem of misaddressed emails and prevent data leakage.
Technology that scans for sensitive keywords, personally identifiable information (PII), or data patterns inside the email body or attachments can provide practices with a critical layer of security.
Confirm External Recipients and Attachments
Using data loss awareness (DLA) technology, users can confirm the practice’s external recipients (those receiving a message from the practice) before messages are sent. Such an integrated solution “asks” whether everyone on an email recipient list should be seeing the sensitive information contained, so the message is not sent to someone by mistake. Likewise, this prevents misaddressed emails or inadvertent auto-fill email mistakes.
Email breaches from accidental data loss can result in fines, regulatory non-compliance notices, and even litigation for a medical practice. Additionally, medical practices can (and should) seek solutions that proactively help users to prevent accidental data loss and keeps all sensitive information from leaving the organization
In such environments, all settings should be configurable and specified on a per-user or per-group basis. In addition, healthcare organizations should automate activity logs for all potential occurrences with a complete audit trail stored locally or centrally and supporting Outlook local languages, as these are often needed should you be audited.