The Importance of HIPAA Network Security Assessments for Medical Organizations

Have you assessed your digital risk lately? With medical practices more reliant on technology now than ever before, there’s also more to lose from breaches, natural disasters, technical failures, and other digital threats. 

How Lack of Risk Analysis Can Hurt Your Business

Regulatory Consequences
The most straightforward potential cost of digital security failures for a medical practice is, of course, fines and other punitive measures resulting from regulatory violations. HIPAA network security is vitally important, and yet, a staggering number of small practices retain dated systems or practices which would result in fines if reported. HIPAA Risk Assessment

Negligent violations of HIPAA can cost anywhere from $100 to $25,000 per violation — and negligence doesn’t just include knowing carelessness, but failures that should have been identified. And that’s just for problems which might stem from your HIPAA network security. A network security assessment ensures you don’t have any of these basic failures of due diligence, which can cost you thousands of dollars in penalties. 

Recovery Costs
Recovery after a HIPAA network security breach, natural disaster or technical failure costs exponentially more in an unprepared system than it does in one properly safeguarded. With the proper measures in place, this means identifying the point of failure and rewinding the necessary components. Without proper measures, this can be an agonizing process of wiping systems, reinstalling and reconfiguring them and monitoring new systems to make sure you don’t reintroduce compromised data to your system.   

Civil Liability
Of course, let’s not ignore one of the biggest potential losses your business might face by not conducting risk analysis: civil liability. Breaches of the patient or employee privacy resulting from poor network security could open your organization up to any number of lawsuits. Risk assessments not only identify flaws that cause such breaches, but they also protect your organization against accusations of negligence; if you are diligence in your protection of records, then you have much less to worry about even if a breach were to occur. 

Loss of Reputation
The costs associated with a loss of reputation can be difficult to assess, but it’s potentially the greatest injury to your practice in the event of a security breach. Patients don’t like to hear the doctor they go to leaked personal information; medical professionals deal with some of the most private, sensitive information. Potential patients may associate your practice first and foremost with a data breach they heard about, and existing ones may seek care elsewhere. 

Safeguard Your HIPAA Network Security

A security risk assessment will analyze your existing HIPAA network security measures and identify areas of weakness. Network Security Associates also offer data protection services to ensure HIPAA compliance. Contact us at 702-547-9800 to learn more.