Protecting Your Practice’s Data Privacy and Data Security

As a healthcare professional today, there are a lot of security worries on your plate. Is your data secure? Are your patients protected? Can hackers find a way in?

Many people approach security with a “wait and see” attitude. They scratch the surface for handling it, and hope for the best each and every day. According to the HIPAA Journal’s July 2021 Healthcare Data Breach report, there were 70 reported data breaches of 500 or more records for the month. That’s more than two breaches per day. Almost all were ransomware or phishing incidents.

Data privacy and data security are terms used interchangeably when talking about security. In reality, they may share a common goal, but they aren’t the same thing.

Data privacy deals with proper handling, processing, storage, and usage of personal information. Data privacy ensures your patients’ individual rights are handled correctly.

Data security focuses on protecting personal data from any unauthorized use. It is designed to protect data from third-party access, malicious attacks, or unauthorized use. Data security concerns itself with the integrity of the data, and ensures a host of security practices and processes are well-used and monitored for use.

They are similar by nature, yet both are handled in slightly different manners. Where data privacy is about proper usage, collection, retention, storage, and disposal of data, data security is about the policies, methods, and procedures to ensure the data is secured.

Put another way, the way you login and use the various systems and platforms for your business would be data security. How those systems store and administer your account would be data privacy. The difference is between protecting someone’s personal information, and the security measures you have in place to keep all of your business information secure.

Overwhelmingly, the two are connected by trust. And trust is something that’s waning in our society. Data privacy is becoming more regulated all the time, but we still have a long way to go. Sign up for your favorite accounts online; you give away rights at the click of a button, with most of us never reading the terms of service. Most privacy policies take 20 minutes or more to read, and a law degree to understand the mumbo jumbo.

Yet there’s a direct correlation between poor data privacy and a data breach. Companies with a poor privacy policy show an increase of 80 percent more likelihood of a data breach. Businesses that scored the lowest in privacy measures lost 600 percent more records than companies with the highest scores.

Want to increase your practice’s data security? Begin with the way you handle data privacy. Ultimately, the two go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.