Although businesses in a variety of industries, as well as public sector organizations, have been challenged by the management and security requirements of BYOD over the past few years, health care is likely the most at-risk. This is due to the rapid proliferation of new devices making it into the average medical organization, combined with the increased data sensitivity and compliance requirements that these firms have to manage.
In many ways, unified communications has been a boon to health care efficiency, and will likely continue to be for years to come as more organizations begin to leverage video conferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol phone systems, instant messaging and other tools to improve patient care. However, first things first, decision-makers in this industry must focus on the security and compliance of mobile device and application activity to maintain integrity and continuity in the threat-filled digital medical landscape.
Simple steps toward stronger protection
InformationWeek recently interviewed several experts from the cybersecurity and health care industries to garner tips and tricks that can help boost security and compliance effectiveness in this sector despite the proliferation of new devices. Mike Raggo, a security evangelist for one IT security firm, expressed his perspective on the challenges that health care providers face today.
"The sheer number of people and devices with access to health information expands, making it much more complex for organizations to create mobile policies, manage data leakage controls and conduct regulatory analysis," Raggo told InformationWeek. "Mobile devices are ubiquitous in health care organizations, supporting part-time physicians and nurses working shifts that share devices. The plethora of health information accessible on these devices makes protecting against data loss challenging."
According to the news provider, medical organizations should refine their device, application, network and data encryption strategies while deploying tools to support continuous monitoring and vulnerability testing over time.
It is not all bad
Some might read the above story and think that mobility should be avoided like the plague in health care. However, this is not a feasible mentality or even a partly true sentiment considering the vast benefits of the trend to patient care and the possibility of making it safe. Those health care leaders who are in charge of IT and UC frameworks should work with other stakeholders and departmental managers to create a comprehensive and optimal set of policies, then leverage advanced tools to maintain compliance and security.