It is an unfortunate fact that data theft is on the rise, and a single digital breach could destroy your clinic’s reputation and lead to dozens of expensive lawsuits. Here is a quick glimpse at just a few of the reasons why you should establish a comprehensive security plan that protects your patients’ data.
Protecting Patients Against Disability Discrimination
Even though discriminating against disabled people is illegal, that practice still occurs. Some employers don’t want to hire disabled employees because they believe that it will cost them extra money and take up more of their time, and those are just a few of the reasons why many people who are disabled want to keep their health status private. Once that information is released, it could impact an individual’s career path for many years to come.
Protecting Patients From Identity Theft
Identity theft is frighteningly common, and that type of crime can bring an individual’s life to a grinding halt. In addition to securing all of the data that you have in your clinic, you must also make sure that any outside firms that you hire adhere to very strict standards. That includes bill processors, medical answering service companies, and any other third-party businesses that have direct access to your patients and their data.
Preventing the Release of Embarrassing Data
For public individuals, a seemingly insignificant piece of information can be devastating. Even if you don’t have very many high-profile patients, you must still prevent any potentially embarrassing data from being released. Some cybercriminals devote all of their time to looking for embarrassing data that can be used to blackmail people, and medical clinics are a great place to find that kind of information. To prevent breaches, your data needs to be protected by multiple layers of security including a robust firewall.
Preventing Targeted Scams
While some scam artists cast large nets in an attempt to trick a few people, others collect information so that they can direct their efforts at vulnerable parties. When a breach occurs, that information is often sold to a wide variety of organizations that will use it to target certain individuals with scams or create invasive advertisements.
One of the most effective ways to improve your clinic’s security is to schedule an annual security audit with a reputable IT firm. During those audits, the IT team is going to help you find and fix any potential vulnerabilities in your system before they are exploited by criminals.