There are many benefits to smartphones in the healthcare industry, however, there is also huge potential for HIPAA violations of patient privacy to be violated. It’s important to know what risk is associated with smartphones and other mobile devices.
CISA, or Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, says “Mobile apps may gather information from your mobile device for legitimate purposes, but these tools may also put your privacy at risk.”
So, what are the risks associated with mobile device applications?
Apps are a convenient tool to access the news, get directions, or pick up rideshare, but these tools may also put your privacy at risk.
CISA says, when you download an app, it may ask for permission to access personal information—such as email contacts, calendar inputs, call logs, and location data—from your device. CISA goes on to say, “You should be aware that app developers will have access to this information and may share it with third parties, such as companies who develop targeted ads based on your location and interests.”
How can you avoid malicious apps and limit the information apps collect about you?
First, it’s helpful to reiterate that employee devices are for work purposes only. Therefore, applications on your workplace devices, including mobile devices must be approved by your Supervisor and must follow device guidelines set in place by your organization.
Employees must refrain from downloading, installing, and using apps such as social media platforms. Therefore, employees should refrain from posting, commenting, or sharing patient information on social media including patient names, photos, and descriptors that would identify the patient.
What steps can you take to secure data on your mobile devices?
- When using a public or unsecured wireless connection, avoid using apps and websites that require personal information and turn off Bluetooth.
- Avoid connecting your smartphone to any computer or charging station that you do not control. Charging stations are often found at transportation terminals and are not secure! Connecting a device to a computer using a USB cable can allow software running on that computer to interact with the phone.
- Do not leave your device unattended in public or in easily accessible areas.
- Ensure your device requires a password or biometric identifier to access it, so if is stolen, thieves will have limited access to its data.
If your device is stolen or misplaced, first, contact your IT administrator, supervisor, and/or designated HIPAA Security Officer immediately and notify them of the situation for immediate next steps. In general, it’s advised to, follow your organization’s Incident Response Policy immediately.
At Live Compliance, we make checking off your compliance requirements extremely simple.
- Contact-free, accurate Security Risk Assessments are conducted remotely. All devices are thoroughly analyzed regardless of location. Conducting an accurate and thorough Security Risk Assessment is not only required but is a useful tool to expose potential vulnerabilities, including those such as Password Protection.
- Policies and Procedures are curated to fit your organization ensuring employees are updated on all Workstation Use and Security Safeguards in the office, or out. Update in real-time.
- Electronic, prepared document sending and signing to employees and business associates.
Call us at (980) 999-1585 or visit www.LiveCompliance.com.
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.
[ Contribution from the marketing team at Live Compliance ]
Ransomware hackers target medical billing companies, and it CAN AFFECT your entire company! (Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.)
Often out of one’s control, ransomware hackers target medical billing companies because of the tremendous value of the data. BUT, there are steps that CAN BE TAKEN to protect you, your company, and your patients and/or clients.
NetWalker Ransomware, for example, gained notoriety for targeting hospitals and healthcare providers with e-mails claiming to provide information about COVID-19. (The e-mail usually has an attachment that downloads the ransomware from a remote server when clicked on.) The thing is, this is very lucrative for identity thieves since medical records information sells anywhere from $1-$1000!
As the number of healthcare providers taking advantage of Telehealth continues to increase—now outnumbering in-person visits—the number of ransomware attacks continues to increase as well. This means Billers and Providers must be aware of the programs that are used on their machines and ensure necessary steps are taken to safeguard against hackers and attacks.
How can you protect yourself and/or your organization?
- Carefully monitoring where you store and enter your passwords can be extremely beneficial to help minimize the risk of a hack and keeping personal or patient information protected.
- Routine password changes and monitoring where you store and enter your passwords can be extremely beneficial to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim to a hacker. Passwords should be long, unique in characters, capitalization, and alphanumerical.
- Have you had an accurate and thorough Security Risk Assessment and/or penetration testing? If you haven’t completed an accurate and thorough security risk assessment, you could also be penalized under ‘willful neglect’ (this category alone is $50,000 per violation!) in addition to the higher risk of ransomware attacks.
- If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.
- The strength of your passwords directly impacts your online security.
Live Compliance can help. They aggregate breaches which enables you to assess where personal data has been exposed. Dark Web scanning is built right into their Portal, and it allows you to keep an eye on employees whose information was involved in a breach, where the breach took place, and then suggest the next steps to take.
At Live Compliance, they make checking off your compliance requirements extremely simple and to ensure this doesn’t happen to you or your organization:
- Reliable and effective compliance
- Completely online, our role-based courses make training easy for remote or in-office employees
- Contact-free, accurate Security Risk Assessments are conducted remotely. All devices are thoroughly analyzed regardless of location. (Conducting an accurate and thorough Security Risk Assessment is not only required but is a useful tool to expose potential vulnerabilities, including those such as password protection.)
- Policies and procedures curated to fit your organization ensuring employees are updated on all workstation use and security safeguards in the office, or out of the office—all updated in real-time
- Electronic, prepared document sending and signing to employees and business associates
So, don’t risk your company’s future on ransomware hackers. Contact one of EZClaim’s partners, Live Compliance, especially since they are offering a FREE Organization Assessment to help determine your company’s status. E-mail them, visit their website at LiveCompliance.com, or call them at 980.999.1585.
For more information about EZClaim’s medical billing software, which provides a best-in-class product with correspondingly exceptional service and support, e-mail, visit their website, or contact them at 877.650.0904.
[ Article contributed by Jim Johnson of Live Compliance ]
Whether you and your workforce are back in the office, or still working from home, there are new compliance regulations, and your HIPAA Compliance program may be a bit different.
Reliable and Effective Compliance
• Completely online, our role-based courses make training easy for remote or in-office employees.
• Contact-free and accurate Security Risk Assessments are conducted remotely. All devices are thoroughly analyzed regardless of location.
• Policies and Procedures curated to fit your organization ensuring employees are updated on all Workstation Use and Security Safeguards in or out of the office and updated in real-time.
• Electronic, prepared document sending and signing to employees and business associates.
Don’t risk your company’s future, especially when we are offering a FREE Organization Assessment to help determine your company’s status regarding the new compliance regulations. [ Click here to download a “HIPAA Compliance Requirements” document ].
Live Compliance is a partner of EZClaim, and you can contact them directly by either calling them at (980) 999-1585, e-mail Jim Johnson at Jim@LiveCompliance.com, or visit them at LiveCompliance.com
[ Written by Jim Johnson, President of Live Compliance ]