Working in the cloud offers medical practices many advantages but also increases the risk of data theft, as noted in our previous post. In 2014, the growing use of personal cloud accounts, which cannot be expected to have the same level of security as corporate accounts, is expected to present new challenges for medical office managers as patient information is transferred from personal to medical practice cloud accounts by physicians and staff working offsite.
Personal use of cloud storage is one of seven top tech predictions for 2014 recently noted by Gordon Makryllos in an article on CSO online. While the article was directed at security executives, we believe medical office managers will also find the predictions valuable:
2. Biometric passwords. The replacement of typed passwords with biometric authentication (thumbprint verification is already available on some laptops) is expected to significantly increase the ability to protect and limit access to patient information. However, the cost of necessary hardware and software upgrades means that level of security could come with a hefty price tag. In the absence of biometric authentication, educate your medical office staff on the creation of strong passwords and the need to regularly update passwords.
3. Embrace embedded technology. Smartphones and tablets have already become indispensable medical tools. Embedded technology is expected to bring a proliferation of smart devices and wearable tech in the coming year. Maintaining the security of patient information collected and communicated on the growing array of smart devices will be critical to maintain HIPAA compliance.
More next time