Medical professionals now store, manage and share far more medical images than ever before. Picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and cloud-based vendor-neutral archives (VNAs) enable health care practices to provide end users with access to medical images anytime, anywhere.
However, cybercrime poses a significant risk to the security of this protected health information (PHI). The exponential increase in connectivity and data will only continue, and while new technologies have improved performance, the attack surface has expanded concurrently.
Securing Health Care Infrastructures
The piecemeal nature of many existing health care infrastructures can leave data vulnerable to security breaches. This vulnerability, if exploited, can prove disastrous to patients concerned about their privacy and significantly damage the reputation of the affected organization.
Health care entities must implement more comprehensive, integrated security solutions to help address security compliance and reporting mandates. These solutions should:
- Protect PACs and VNAs from external threats.
- Secure PHI from internal attacks and leaks.
- Generate audit reports using as much automation as possible.
New technologies can help protect imaging data and files while automating workflows in accordance with regulatory requirements. They accomplish this through the discovery and classification of sensitive data, vulnerability assessments and file activity monitoring.
These technologies can help organizations detect threats, identify suspicious activity and block unauthorized access.
Protecting Medical Images With Guardium
Solutions such as IBM Security’s Guardium Data Protection for Databases and Guardium Data Protection for Files can deliver significant benefits to imaging centers, providers and other health care systems that use PACS and VNAs to store and share medical images. Guardium can help identify security risks that might otherwise contribute to a potential or actual breach. The solutions are designed to help detect security breaches associated with multiple failed attempts to log in to an imaging organization’s databases and files. It can then deactivate associated accounts to make it more difficult for fraudsters to gain access.
In addition, these solutions are designed to prevent database access from outside applications and to alert administrators of potential intrusions. In doing so, the Guardium product set can help organizations prevent PHI from being shared with or accessed by unauthorized parties. It can also support the creation of policies that health care organizations can map to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards.
To learn more about how IBM Security can deliver integrated systems of analytics and defense capabilities in near real time to better secure your organization’s data, read our white paper, “Aggregate, Protect, Share: New Technologies Help Health Care Systems Better Protect and Manage the Imaging Deluge.”