Go beyond compliance with a holistic approach to data security.

Protect your patients. Protect your brand.


19 Jan 2023

Healthcare organizations are target-rich environments for cybercriminal activities. Taking a holistic approach to data security can help ensure your patients' sensitive data is secure during every step of their journey.

Protect your patients. Protect your brand.

The Healthcare industry is no stranger to compliance measures. Between HIPAA, PCI DSS and an increasingly complex IT environment, Healthcare organizations have their work cut out for them when it comes to data security. Additionally, these environments store more sensitive data than any other industry, making them prime targets for cybercriminals to profit. Compounding this problem, many health systems are using outdated IT infrastructures, leaving them vulnerable for attacks.

More than 590 organizations reported healthcare data breaches in 2022, impacting more than 48.6 million individuals.[1]

To combat the vulnerability of companies handling sensitive information, various security standards have been developed over the past few decades. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) aim to protect the healthcare industry from cyberattacks by encouraging the safe storage of financial information and secure merchant payment behaviors.

Cardholder data sells for about $5 on the dark web whereas a complete Personal Health Record sells for $1000 on average.[2]

While maintaining PCI DSS compliance can be costly, the penalties for being non-compliant during a security breach can be even more severe, including reputational damage, class-action lawsuits, fines and the cancellation of merchant accounts. However, even PCI DSS compliance does not eliminate the risk completely. The only way to maintain a truly risk-free environment is to ensure that sensitive financial data never touches the network in the first place.

Taking a holistic approach to data security

Being compliant isn’t enough in today’s world. Healthcare organizations know that a holistic approach to data security is the best strategy moving forward.

Healthcare organizations can take a holistic approach to data security by implementing a balanced mix of technical, physical and administrative controls to protect patient data such as:

  • Encrypting or masking sensitive data, both in transit and at rest.
  • Implementing strict access controls to limit who has visibility and editing rights to patient data.
  • Performing regular security audits and vulnerability assessments. (Don’t forget your supply chain! Your data security is only as good as the vendors you work with.)
  • Providing regular security awareness training for staff.
  • Implementing physical security measures to protect servers and other equipment.
  • Developing incident response, business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
  • Implementing robust network segmentation to limit the spread of malware and other threats to cybersecurity.
  • Maintaining compliance with regulations such as HIPAA.
  • Continuously monitoring and adapting to new threats and vulnerabilities.

It’s important to note that data security should be viewed as an ongoing process of identifying and addressing risks and vulnerabilities rather than simply achieving compliance. A comprehensive security program is critical when it comes to protecting patient data. See how Eckoh helped a reputable Children’s Hospital go beyond compliance to secure.

Learn more about Eckoh’s secure suite of products or contact us.

1 https://healthitsecurity.com/features/this-years-largest-healthcare-data-breaches#:~:text=Even%20so%2C%20more%20than%20590,to%2040%20million%20in%202021

2 https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/hospitals/industry-voices-forget-credit-card-numbers-medical-records-are-hottest-items-dark-web