Year-End Health Report

By Art Gross, President and CEO, HIPAA Secure Now!
Twitter: @HIPAASecureNow
Read other articles by this author

Ideally, we have a health physical once a year. We assess what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and make modifications to our overall wellness plan as needed. Hopefully, nothing is wrong, and we can proceed with the usual cautions and goals of maintaining a long and productive life.

The same could be said for our cyberhealth. This year, we not only had an unexpected curveball thrown at our businesses and networks, but we weren’t sure how to treat it either. This is of course relative to the COVID-19 virus effect on humans, but also relative to how it determined how we work. And how we treat patients and maintain our healthcare businesses in the present, and moving forward, in a time of uncertainty.

We know that experiences give us a template for the way in which we move ahead, and lessons learned are hopefully those we don’t need to repeat. But there isn’t a line in the sand when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2020…the pandemic will remain, and so will the business landscape as it stands today.

So how do we move forward still uncertain of what lies ahead, but wiser to the lessons that we learned in the past year?

One of the biggest changes is that telehealth is not only “here to stay”, but it is also the only way to provide treatment in many a scenario. Are you ready for it? Do you have a program in place to not only provide the treatment but to support the structure of hardware and software that will be necessary? HIPAA is critical to any business in healthcare, but so is cybersecurity. And with remote working and treatment being at the forefront of how you do business, you need to have a strong cybersecurity program in place. Do not make the mistake of assuming that HIPAA means the same thing. It would be like saying you take your vitamins, so you don’t need surgery for a critical health situation. They work together to keep you alive and healthy, but they are not the same thing.

As you review your own business’s well-being from the past year and create budgets, roles, and goals for your success, do not forget to include a strong cybersecurity program at the top of the list of required items. If we have learned anything from 2020, it is that being prepared for the unexpected is the one characteristic that the survivors and those with longevity share.

A solid and ongoing training program is one of your best defenses when it comes to fighting cybercrime. The threat of it happening isn’t going to diminish and will likely continue to increase in both chances of happening, as well as methods of attack, for the foreseeable future, if not forever.

Identify what are you doing to make sure that you are prepared. We all know better than to ever say “that probably won’t happen”. It can, and it will. If you don’t have a strong cybersecurity training program in place, speak with your IT provider and insist that one is implemented. If you are an MSP or business that needs a solution to offer to your clients, let’s discuss our all-encompassing HIPAA and security programs.

This article was originally published on HIPAA Secure Now! and is republished here with permission. HIPAA Secure Now offers annual online subscriptions to help covered entities and business associates keep up with compliance. Learn more here.

HIPAA Secure Now! now offers PHIshMD training for CEs and BAs to help protect your organization from security threats.

Technology safeguards put a virtual wall around your network, but what happens when the bad actors climb over that wall? It’s up to your employees. Over 90% of breaches get caused by human error according to Kaspersky Lab, and if you’re not educating users HOW to protect your organization in this ever-changing threat landscape, your organization could be next. LEARN MORE