Keeping the information that courses through a hospital’s network infrastructure secure has become an understandably paramount initiative for executives. As technology advances every year, we see new high-tech threats being introduced as well. Unfortunately, our incredible innovations in technology are progressing negatively just as much as they are positively. Among large health systems and hospitals, executive-level roles, even departments, are being created that are dedicated to fulfill this sole need of defending the data and combating these threats. This is driving the future of security in healthcare.
To name a few examples of these dedicated roles include the Chief Information Security Officer, Director of IT Governance, and Director of Information Risk and Compliance. However, before information started being accessed by outside threats, there was not much of a need to allocate a significant investment toward the area of security. Fast-forward to present day and hospitals are required, by law, to have a network infrastructure that is highly secure and they need to significantly investment in the latest technology to maintain the highest level of security. This is another reason why the network infrastructure of health systems is arguably the most robust in the world and will continue to remain that way.
Before the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was created in 1996, data security had historically been negligent within healthcare facilities, and hackers are now targeting these systems and leveraging the fact that they’ve fallen behind in this area. According to the Websense researchers, they have observed a “600 percent increase in attacks on hospitals over the past 10 months.” The hacking of Community Health Systems based out of Franklin, TN is the latest and largest breach in recent years with over 4.5 million patients’ data being exposed and has shed national attention on the issue. These systems are now being forced at the executive level to address these threats. Information security technology is currently available, such as Intrusion Detection System (IDS), Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), and firewalls as well as security management solutions such as Network Access Control (NAC), Mobile Device Manager (MDM), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Identity Access Management (IAM), and Network Management System (NMS). This is an area of network infrastructure that will continue to progress and innovate. However, the future of security in healthcare will inevitably court the bad alongside the good.