The healthcare industry can be complicated and frustrating for anyone managing IT security and compliance. For good reason, having so many certifications, restrictions, and regulations in place is vital to delivering better patient outcomes. The lack of resources and outdated or undermanaged technologies hinder some of the most significant risks in accomplishing these feats. There must be a better way to streamline healthcare-related technology compliance efforts to solidify both IT and security expectations are achieved valiantly.
Suppose you are a small to medium-sized healthcare organization (around 300 beds or less) and are having trouble managing all the efforts mandated with HIPAA and AHA compliance. In that case, this article is for you. We will cover why you need virtual desktops are a best practice to mitigate and control your IT Security-related compliance efforts.
Let's start by saying, "you're a healthcare professional, not an IT professional". When you need help with your taxes, you hire a CPA. The same thought process needs to apply to your IT and security-related needs. To compare healthcare and technology in layman's terms would be saying complex technology architectures are like the brain's neurological network. Not just anyone can jump in and properly navigate or manage it. The sooner you can remove yourself from the technology business and let professionals handle it, the faster your compliance will streamline itself.
At a high level, you need to ensure you have the following controls in place:
The above are just the high-level items. On top of these, you need to have specialized personnel that has been qualified or trained to set up and maintain these solutions. Many of which require ongoing tuning and daily attention to remain effective and compliant. These all could be full-time jobs for the security tools, and most need another individual to perform just the investigation and triage of events generated from these tools. This is already a ton of person-hours to get the tools set up and monitor them. Next, we will deep dive into some of the more specific use cases that can apply regarding HIPAA that you may not be fully aware of today.
HIPAA compliance is one of the most stringent compliance frameworks there is. Think about it; the data you are dealing with and attempting to protect directly relates to a person's life (both directly and indirectly). There is zero tolerance for error as it could cause severe damaging effects on a person wellbeing or even in some situations with healthcare technology, death. That's why you must understand some of the expectations of HIPAA compliance and why it is much more challenging to achieve than in other industry sectors.
Any downtime could mean loss of life when we talk about healthcare facilities. This could be downtime from a power outage or because your IT systems were compromised, forcing you to halt all business until the issue can be resolved.
Physical security controls (cameras and door controls) are a critical part of being compliant and ensuring the safety of your patients and staff. Most organizations see these physical security systems as part of IT. While it can be debated if security and IT are one in the same, the fact is that security systems require access to the network. If not managed properly the systems, you purchase to provide you with physical security can create bigger security issues. Let’s take a look a not very well know security flaw that impacted some of the United States most important businesses. Last year, Verkada, a popular security and camera company, suffered a breach due to a misconfigured customer portal that allowed hackers to access the cameras and networks of 97 of their customers. Verkada is one of the top Video surveillance companies in the country, and they still were the point of entry for hackers. The vulnerability was only discovered during an audit of a client. Network segmentation would have limited the impact of this vulnerability. As healthcare organizations introduce more IOT devices to their campuses these vulnerabilities can become unmanageable.
Within a hospital setting, there needs to be proper network segmentation. You have a ton of sensitive medical equipment that cannot afford to have any interference from an intruder. Micro-segmentation can be difficult to both implement and maintain without proper tooling and training on how to do it. Also, there needs to be common knowledge when new devices are introduced to a segment to ensure legit communications can occur while keeping your compliance intact.
Lastly, being able to effectively keep track of all these changes that are occurring daily is a full-time job and must be done correctly to ensure compliance. Whether you are implementing a new solution to your environment or you need to open a firewall port, all changes much be logged and timestamped with approvals to satisfy HIPAA compliance.
Now you may be overwhelmed with everything we just covered that is required for compliance and safety efforts. Have no fear; TetherView is here! TetherView is a virtual desktop solution that can tailor its solution to your specific needs. They can do the heavy lifting on all the mentioned compliance and security efforts in a streamlined fashion to ensure your environment executes (not just checking of the box) and is secure.
TetherView builds custom configured virtual infrastructure that is SOC2 TYPE 2 and HIPAA Compliant. TetherView services include virtual desktops, virtual servers, dedicated firewalls, Security Operations Monitoring, SIEM, backup and more.
From a business perspective TetherView offers concurrent competitive pricing compared to other solutions. Most of TetherView’s competition offers pricing per user (no matter if it's being used or not). In contrast, TetherView values your business and provides a model that only charges you for users logged in to the virtual desktop services.
Take your security and compliance efforts to the next level. Free up your internal IT resources to focus on more critical efforts and have a piece of mind that you are secure and compliant.