Security & Compliance in the Challenging Health Tech Industry
Health Tech companies are often super-focused on driving value to their clients but struggle when it comes to contractual and regulatory compliance challenges. That’s where True Digital Security can accelerate your technology agenda by empowering your managers, bringing needed visibility to leadership, and providing security and compliance automation.
State of the Industry
Anyone who attends a HIMSS conference can attest to the rapid transformation of healthcare through technology. From internet connected healthcare devices, to remote patient management, to AI and machine-learning platforms, technology is rapidly transforming the patient experience. Wider, more accurate collection and use of real-time health data enables providers to understand and even predict their patients’ needs more accurately than ever before–a technology-fueled revolution that promises to save lives and treat diseases before the symptoms even present.
More than ever before, 3rd party healthcare technology vendors are tasked with delivering products and services that are validated as absolutely secure and HIPAA compliant out of the box. When one considers the challenges facing hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other healthcare services providers, it is easy to understand just how important this burden really is. Most health service providers maintain thinly stretched IT teams, and cybersecurity teams that are lean at best. These teams carry the burden of providing a secure network to their entire organization, as well as managing patching, updates, access management, physical security, and new rollouts. They simply don’t have the bandwidth to systematically test and lock down every single new device, system, platform, and application in their environment that may have a hidden vulnerability. Yet, hospitals and doctors can't risk placing their patients in harm’s way, either.
With this great promise, however, also comes risk. On the one hand, leveraging a device that can regulate a client’s heartbeat or breathing patterns–while also collecting and sending the data back to doctors and analysts–introduces exponentially more tailored and effective healthcare possibilities, it can also introduce vulnerabilities that could put the patient at risk of an accidental privacy breach or even foul play in a cyber attack.
Sensitive health data, the devices that collect or leverage it, and all the systems in which that data lives or passes through must be protected to prevent leakage, loss, compliance violations, or a serious security incident. To this end, Health Tech companies are seeking to partner with cybersecurity professionals who can give them unified visibility into their security program to identify and remediate weaknesses, develop best-practice security controls, validate HIPAA compliance, and continually strengthen the security of their offerings to the healthcare sector.
With the transformational possibilities of Health Tech’s new capabilities for patient outcomes, health tech organizations are poised for unprecedented growth. While this is a great benefit on the one hand, keeping up with industry demand can introduce more complexity. Processes that may have worked well on a smaller scale may be highly inefficient, at best, on a larger scale. For example, HIPAA compliance requires any vendor who might come in contact with patient data as a member of one’s supply chain to verify their own security and privacy practices through vendor questionnaires, followed by a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) that has legal ramifications for anyone found to be using substandard privacy and security practices. If a quickly growing Health Tech company is unable to give proper review to those questionnaires, validating answers with evidence from a vendor they wish to work with, the fallout could be devastating. Industry trained compliance partners can prevent that situation by helping those tech companies implement solutions and efficiencies to help perform vendor reviews and field customer inquiries properly and at the highest compliance standards. For any organization seeking to compete in this arena, being found non-compliant or experiencing an incident can be nothing short of devastating for brand reputation, not to mention the fees and fines associated with violation of HIPAA requirements.
With such stringent regulatory and contractual requirements and heavy burdens associated with growth, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and miss or delay vital security remediation projects. The resulting gaps can then put these organizations at risk in more than one way. Cyber Insurance providers, for example, now require evidence of advanced security program maturity, which can be difficult and costly to attain. Health Tech organizations unable to keep up could find themselves difficult to insure. In fact, the demand placed on internal Health Tech cybersecurity and compliance teams at emerging companies is often on-par with the demand placed on their enterprise-level counterparts, who have access to far more resources and support.
The way to close many of the gaps prevalent among fast-growing Health Tech companies is through centralized compliance automation, increased visibility into departments and their projects, and leaning on the support of expert teams as needed. Working with a GRC partner who can help centralize, but also has the experience, team depth, and capabilities necessary to support HIPAA-specific needs can greatly reduce compliance burdens placed on existing Health Tech teams.
TrueSpeed offers this single pane of glass to organizations needing to stay on track with program development, offering them the ability to automate compliance and demonstrate program maturity for auditors, cybers insurance providers, and boards in real time–anytime. Supporting this effort with its own teams, TRUE offers a unique path toward growth by integrating IT-Cloud, Security, and Compliance offerings. That way, no matter what comes up during seasons of aggressive scaling, there is a team on-hand, ready and trained to help. This allows Health Tech organizations to build out their internal teams, but without missing a beat in program development. Once those teams are in place, they can inherit a much healthier situation, and benefit from pre-existing relationships with a provider who can help them with just about any aspect of their environment, policies, and practices.
In a highly competitive space, Health Tech providers need the ability to be first to market with their offerings. If they are mired in lengthy, complicated compliance and security program development processes, learning as they go, they will not be free to pivot, grow, and take their solutions to the world marketplace first. Working with industry trained partners whose teams maintain a vast working knowledge of compliance processes enables organizations to lower the total cost of staffing, while maintaining the highest standards for outcomes. In particular, some compliance controls necessitate 24x7x365 security monitoring of any systems housing certain types of (regulated) data. Yet, building a Security Operations Center (SOC) and staffing it with around-the-clock, full-time analysts gets expensive in a hurry. At TRUE, SOC monitoring services, like Security Information and Event Management (Managed SIEM) and Network Security Monitoring (NSM) can be implemented without building out facilities, hiring extra employees, or compromising time and money that will be better spent focusing on the business. Then, through TrueSpeed, those monitoring controls can also be integrated as part of compliance automation. TrueSpeed is designed for this purpose, enabling organizations to speed up and simplify compliance processes, supported by experts who help accomplish all the tasks necessary to do so– all through a single, integrated provider. Incorporating this kind of visibility and expertise into program management helps Health Tech organizations meet their goals, stay on track, and scale with confidence.
True Digital Security has worked closely with technology providers serving the Healthcare Industry for over 14 years, walking our clients through a systematic program designed to help them deploy and manage secure technology solutions while ensuring regulatory and contractual compliance.
In fact, TRUE’s Security and Compliance Visibility solution, TrueSpeed, was built to support and automate this process to facilitate. The process and the tool go hand-in-hand.
Service areas include:
- Cloud Adoption and Management
- Security Operations Center (SOC) and Network Operations Center (NOC) Services
- HIPAA-Specific GRC Consulting
- HITRUST and SOC 2 Preparation and Support
- Security Awareness Training
- Security Assessments & Validation
- Penetration Testing
- Vulnerability Remediation Services
- Policy Development & Documentation
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