Encryption is a core part of the professional world. This is because most industries and companies deal with sensitive personnel or customer data which requires encryption to secure the data. Service providers without sound data encryption systems run the risk of fines, torts, and government penalties.
The healthcare industry has been a target of
There was a total of
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) set up in 1996 is a federal law that demanded the necessary creation of national standards to protect the health information of patients from disclosure without the patient’s knowledge or permission. The Privacy Rule laid down by this Act is designed to strike a balance between the protection of health information and the use of such information to provide optimum health care services.
Here are the most effective data encryption techniques that any healthcare organization can adopt to protect health information:
At the core of any data-encryption structure is Risk Assessment. The HIPAA strictly stipulates the
Since the slightest breach of PHI comes with a
Risk assessment is a three-way overview of your business’ administrative, physical, and technical capacity to protect encrypted data
“implement a method that will encrypt and decrypt electronically protected health information”.
However, this rule is not restricted to electronic input into the system, i.e email and other information receipt systems and data disposal conduits including electronic trash bins, it also extends to the use of external devices with the mainframe of your database.
Therefore, whenever any external device such as a phone, USB drive, hard drive, desktop, or laptop is plugged into the system, there should be automatic encryption of the information within the system to be inaccessible to external parties.
Also, the medium of storage of the encrypted ePHIs should be completely encrypted. This would create a firewall against any possible external infiltration and equally allow for the decryption of information as required from the database per time.
Data encryption technology is as important as data encryption in the healthcare sector. The technology employed in encrypting data must be at par with the capacity of the data encryption software. A health organization using the Advanced Encryption System (AES) 256-bit encryption must be designed to handle the huge network capacity that the encryption software requires.
Users of the AES 180-bit encryption and the AES 256-bit encryption have noted the heavy processing capacity that the systems consume. While these systems are installed into all
The implication of using a data encryption system is that there are encryption keys. These keys are passwords that unlock the database of the health organization and they are only kept in the hands of the most principal members of the organization or a security company in proxy for the health organization.
Determining the holder of the key does not pose any problem to most organizations as they mostly put it in the hands of the trustworthy members of the organization. However, the unusual spike in the sophistication of the hacking community demands the upgrade of health organization technology to counteract the actions and processes which may crash the firewall around customer-centric keys.
The Key Lifecycle process is a vital instrument that will ensure the integrity of a key while it is in the hands of a trustee:
The Benefits of Data Encryption Techniques for Healthcare Organizations are:
The significant growth of the cybercrime community has led to increased awareness about the need to protect the private information of clients in the healthcare sector. This has resulted in the adoption of leading technologies that curb the infiltration of vulnerable areas of a data encryption system.
All of these have created a robust and secure data encryption system for all healthcare organizations.