In the German healthcare industry, sensitive data spans everything from drug patents through to patient data and clinical trial results. That’s why data breaches can lead to financial losses and damage a company’s reputation and the trust of its clients. With the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), and other data protection regulations, such as the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), and German Telemedia Act (TMG), it is essential for companies to have a robust data protection strategy in place.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a mature technology that can help companies protect their sensitive information and achieve compliance with industry regulations. It provides an approach to identifying, monitoring, and protecting confidential data by identifying and preventing data breaches, data exfiltration from malicious insiders, and non-compliant data usage.
A well-implemented DLP solution, like that provided by Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys, can help security professionals in the health system to detect and prevent the unauthorized access, exfiltration, and misuse of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and PHI (Protected Health Information). This includes sensitive data such as patient records, financial information, and intellectual property. DLP solutions can also assist in meeting regulatory requirements, such as providing data discovery, classification, protection, incident response, forensic analysis, and reporting features. Additionally, DLP solutions can help companies maintain an audit trail of sensitive healthcare data usage and access.
Compliance with Industry Regulations
GDPR is the primary regulation that applies, but there are also several other relevant regulations, such as the German Federal Data Protection Act, the German Telemedia Act, and the German Medical Devices Act. DLP solutions can assist IT Directors and CISOs meet these regulatory requirements by applying the appropriate security controls to protect how data is used and shared. They can also monitor and log access to sensitive data, which can aid in detecting and investigating vulnerabilities and provide a forensic analysis of data breaches. This information can be used to improve data privacy and incident response procedures and demonstrate compliance with regulations.
In terms of GDPR specifically, data loss prevention can aid in meeting the requirement of Article 32, which states the need for appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk. Additionally, DLP can help meet Article 33, which states the need to report data breaches to supervisory authorities within 72 hours.
Protecting Patient Sensitive Data: Types and Risks
In the German healthcare sector, sensitive information includes patient records, financial information, and intellectual property such as drug patents. These data types are subject to different kinds of risks, such as insider threats, ransomware, and external cyber-attacks. Data loss prevention solutions can help the health system identify and protect confidential data by providing real-time monitoring, alerting, and blocking unauthorized access and exfiltration attempts.
With these capabilities, healthcare organizations can reduce the chance of data breaches and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
The Importance of DLP in the Healthcare Industry
DLP solutions can provide a multi-layered approach to identifying, monitoring, and protecting sensitive data. One key aspect of these solutions is the ability to classify sensitive information through data discovery and classification features, which allows healthcare organizations to understand where their patient data resides, who has access to it, and what regulations apply. This information can be used to create data security policies and procedures tailored to the company’s specific needs.
Another critical aspect of data security solutions is monitoring and controlling access to confidential data. This can be accomplished through endpoint and network-based DLP solutions, monitoring and controlling data usage on devices such as laptops, while network-based solutions monitor and control data usage on network infrastructure such as servers and storage devices.
The benefit of an endpoint-based solution, such as Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys, is that policies remain active on an employee’s endpoint (laptop) even if they’re working offline. This level of control ensures sensitive data is not being misused or exfiltrated and authorized individuals only access it.
DLP solutions can help IT Directors, and CISOs in the German healthcare sector detect and prevent unauthorized access, exfiltration, and misuse of important data. This includes sensitive data such as patient records, financial information, and intellectual property. These solutions can also assist in meeting regulatory requirements such as providing data discovery, classification, protection, incident response, forensic analysis, and reporting features. Additionally, DLP solutions can help companies maintain an audit trail of sensitive data usage and access, enabling them to comply with data access and usage monitoring regulations.
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