The cost of data breaches is skyrocketing, and cybersecurity is of particular concern for the health care industry due to the large amount of sensitive patient information that’s being collected, processed, and stored.
A data breach can be very costly for a health care company or provider — the average cost of a breach in the industry is $429 per record . Not only will you incur immediate costs and hefty penalties for failing to comply with HIPAA guidelines but you’ll also suffer from a tarnished reputation and the loss of patients or customers, which will impact your profitability in the long-run.
Since a health care business or practice needs to handle and transfer a lot of sensitive digital files containing protected health information (PHI), its IT infrastructure must adhere to the HIPAA Security Rule to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI.
As such, your file transfer protocol needs to comply with HIPAA’s guidelines, too.
When you transfer data and files that contain PHI, you need to adhere to these best practices:
Implementing all the security measures can pose a strain on the IT resources in many health care practices. The good news is that you can use a managed file transfer (MFT) solution to help ensure that your file transfer processes are HIPAA compliant without a high added cost.
Managed File Transfer (MFT) Can Help
An MFT solution is designed to meet HIPAA requirements regarding all aspects of inbound and outbound file transfers through the use of industry-standard file transfer protocols (e.g., SFTP and FTPS) and encryption standards (e.g., Open PGP).
It’s the most cost-efficient way to ensure that PHI remains secure when files are transferred within your organization or shared with external partners and vendors.
Here are 10 reasons why you should use MFT software for your healthcare business:
1. MFT allows you to consolidate all file-transfer activities onto a single interface. You can streamline workflows while maintaining visibility into data movement through centralized access control, file encryption, and activity tracking.
2. MFT provides you with detailed audit logs so you can meet HIPAA reporting requirements, which mandate that every IT asset be audited at least once per year.
3. MFT offers automated reporting of tasks, procedures, and file-transfer activities so you can consolidate and streamline compliance reporting and audit preparation without compromising accuracy.
4. MFT allows you to automate workflows, process batch transfers, and schedule future transfers without creating scripts to increase efficiency while eliminating costly errors and delays.
5. MFT helps you improve operational reliability and comply with internal SLAs and governance requirements. You can ensure data integrity by tracking transfer activities of each file to make sure there’s no unauthorized alteration or deletion.
6. MFTreduces the development time required for launching new services or setting up collaboration with new partners without compromising your security standards.
7. MFT gives you extensive security controls, such as the ability to set password policies and authenticate users with LDAP, AD, and more. You can block brute-force and DOS attacks, create SSL certificates, and use SSH/OpenPGP keys to enhance IT security.
8. MFT allows you to set role-based access control, which helps ensure that each employee can only view the files they need to do their jobs.
9. MFT enables the monitoring of new, modified, or deleted files in any targeted folder so workflows can be executed automatically when changes are detected. You can run projects concurrently while minimizing bottlenecks and delays.
10. MFT supports industry-standard file servers, such as FTPS, SFTP, and AS2, for inbound file transfers from customers, external partners, and employees, so you can safely share PHI with minimal security risks.
The fast-evolving digital landscape means it’s not always easy to keep up with the many security protocols. However, the ability to transfer files and share sensitive information securely is essential for any health care business.
Thankfully, with the help of MFT software, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The cost-efficient solution will not only help you stay HIPAA compliant but also allow you to streamline your workflow, reduce your IT cost, and improve your profitability.