How to Identify & Limit the Risks of Personal Devices in Healthcare

As small and medium sized businesses become bigger players in the world of business, they are looking to save money and cut unnecessary costs wherever possible. IT departments have become the most commonplace sector to scale down, with most companies looking to cut at least a quarter of their IT related costs. A fairly newer but extremely common way to cut costs for IT departments has been the adoption of the BYOD philosophy. Businesses can benefit from the fact that most of their employees now carry their own mobile devices for personal use, and can simply equip the devices with security rather than pay the ongoing cost of a business-only device.

Employers and Users Should Take the Following Measures to Secure Their BYOD Devices:

BYOD devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets bought for individual sale are not equipped with any security measures out of the box. As a result, the security risks of these devices when used for business can be significantly high. The issues that IT administrators face by having to manage these devices, from disinfecting to security setup to decommission in the case of employee exit, can be a difficult security challenge to ensure. For healthcare institutions especially, BYOD is commonly practiced and holds even more of a risk as HIPPA compliance standards come into question.

 

Adopt a Proactive Data Management Strategy

Adoption of a pro-active data management strategy is one of the most important aspects of securing devices in a healthcare provider's network. With the number of individuals using their own devices to access confidential information increasing, security has become a major pain point for health organization. Adopting a proactive management strategy by partnering with an outsourced IT provider can protect your organization from potential BYOD attacks.

 

Encrypt All Devices

All USB and mobile devices should be encrypted if they are being used remotely. Vulnerabilities can even occur internally, which is why even if employees are using devices within the network they should be encrypted so that sensitive data is never leaked. Companies should also backup data, in the event of a breach or disaster.

Although adoption of a BYOD policy can be cost-effective for smaller and medium sized businesses and healthcare providers, it is also important to be aware of the potential hazards. Educating employees on the company's BYOD policies, and ensuring that IT departments either internally or by outsourcing have secured devices, are the most important factors of a BYOD security plan. To find out more about managed security for BYOD devices, contact an iCorps representative today.

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