With digital medical records, patient online portals, and other electronic methods of healthcare data management, maintaining a secure network is critical to meeting the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security requirements. HIPAA’s security requirements are made up of several technical security measures, which require covered entities to maintain reasonable safeguards for protecting electronic protected health information (PHI).
To protect patient data, IT teams need to take a comprehensive approach to network security in addressing both external and internal threats through:
- Defensive measures like firewalls, encryption, anti-virus software, and regular testing.
- Tracking user activity and knowing who is doing what and when, especially for network systems.
- Limiting or restricting user access to various file systems, servers, and other network equipment.
- Establishing strong policies for password security, including password complexity and requirements for frequent rotation.