Healthcare’s Digital Transformation: How DevSecOps Protects Data

Meredith is the CEO of AutoRABIT, a leader in DevSecOps and data protection for regulated industries.

The healthcare industry has gone through quite a digital transformation over the last decade—particularly in the last few years since the start of the pandemic. An expansion of online services, increased reliance on social networks and updated IT infrastructure have significantly widened the reach of healthcare organizations.

The global digital health market is expected to grow 17.5% by 2027, reaching a total valuation of $456 million.

These organizations manage—and create—a ton of data. In fact, one-third of the world’s data volume is generated by the healthcare industry, making it a prime target for cybercriminals.

Properly protecting this information is a massive responsibility that requires constant attention. Healthcare organizations must implement strategies and tools that safeguard this sensitive data and reduce the likelihood of costly data loss events.

Review Your Data Security Strategy

The first step healthcare organizations need to take to protect their sensitive data is to audit their current data security processes. Entities need to know what’s outdated in order to fix it. Gathering insights into currently successful and not-so-successful parts of your security strategy provides the road map you need to institute improvements.

Examine those aspects of your security strategy being manually addressed by team members. These process points are prone to human error—which is the leading cause of data loss. Take note of all manual processes to identify what can be streamlined and standardized using automated tools.

Basic data security best practices can seem so simple that they are often overlooked. But having strong foundational measures goes a long way toward protecting sensitive data.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) adds an additional layer of security to your team’s login portals. A study by Google found that using MFA “can block up to 100% of automated bots, 99% of bulk phishing attacks and 66% of targeted attacks.”

It’s imperative that healthcare organizations integrate an MFA system if they’re not already using one. Implementation is easy and will drastically increase the security of their IT system.

Another common entry point for hackers is through compromised emails in the form of phishing. Team members are tricked into providing sensitive information, login credentials or even financial information through an email that is seemingly sent from a known source.

Providing employees with extensive training on how to spot these fraudulent messages and clear communication on what to do when one is found drastically decreases the likelihood of a breach occurring as a result of phishing.

Analyzing data security concerns isn’t a one-time consideration. Healthcare organizations should establish a quarterly cadence of data security audits to identify blind spots and areas for improvement.

Reducing The Risk Of Data Breaches With DevSecOps

The digital transformation of the healthcare industry requires a progressive mindset to initiate a proper data security strategy. Increased reliance on technology may put some members of the team in an unfamiliar space, so every possible security precaution needs to be taken.

DevSecOps takes the collaborative nature of DevOps and adds an emphasis on security. In traditional application development pipelines, data security is considered at the end of the pipeline. Tests and analyses are performed to find potential vulnerabilities. This leads to reworking existing components and, if anything’s been missed, bugs in the live environment.

Healthcare organizations can’t risk potential exposure as a result of an overlooked vulnerability. And the best way to prevent this is to instill data security considerations into every step of the development pipeline. This is what’s known as DevSecOps.

Data security needs to be top of mind for every team member who touches an application or update. Considering data security from the initial planning through production offers the best chance at streamlining operations while producing a secure final product.

Automated testing tools like static code analysis and integration testing are massive aspects of DevSecOps, but the way your team approaches each project is the deciding factor. Adhering to data security regulations is nonnegotiable for healthcare organizations. Integrating DevSecOps helps teams properly protect their development projects and their entire IT infrastructure.

Prepare Now To Avoid Damaging Losses

The healthcare industry handles heavily protected information, making it one of the top targets for cybercrime. Recent advancements in cybersecurity technology are only going to protect this information if an equally recent data security strategy is in place.

Incorporating DevSecOps with automated testing, audits and backup tools provides the support healthcare organizations need to manage new capabilities and protect sensitive information. But these solutions aren’t immediate fixes; it will take time to roll everything out. Any delay in contemporizing a data security plan leaves these organizations vulnerable to costly attacks.

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