HSCC Releases Guidance Paper to Secure the Telehealth and Telemedicine Ecosystem

Healthcare organizations are increasingly utilizing health information technology to give patients virtual health care services. With telehealth services, patients located in rural places and the seniors receive necessary medical services. Because of the pandemic, there is a substantial development in telehealth to give virtual medical care services to individuals to minimize the COVID-19 spread.

Based upon FAIR Health, private insurance providers saw growth in telehealth claims by 4,347% a year ago. Actually, virtual care telehealth nowadays is the fastest expanding facet of medical care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has committed to providing ongoing assistance for online medical care services. According to Frost & Sullivan, a seven-fold increase in telehealth services is expected by 2025.

The critical advancement of healthcare services has taken place immediately and at a moment when cybercriminals are much more focusing on the healthcare industry. Attackers are able to easily exploit vulnerabilities to acquire access to sensitive medical data and disrupt services to get a profit. A 2020 study by SecurityScorecard and DarkOwl exhibited a nearly exponential increase in targeted attacks on telehealth firms with the skyrocketing popularity of telehealth.

To reach the 100 % potential of virtual healthcare services, it is necessary for healthcare sector stakeholders to find and manage the privacy and security risks to medical data, which can be difficult in a complicated, interconnected ecosystem such as medical care.

The Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) has published a white paper to offer the healthcare sector guidance on pinpointing cybersecurity vulnerabilities and risks linked to the use and provision of telehealth and telemedicine.

The published Health Industry Cybersecurity-Securing Telehealth and Telemedicine guidance aims to support the healthcare programs, doctors, vendors, providers, and patients, who all carry the responsibility of ensuring that telehealth gives the best service along with privacy and security protection to an appropriate level.

The report details the cyber threats linked to telehealth and telemedicine and explains the regulatory challenges of telehealth services, offering audit resources, help with policies and procedures, and recommending guidelines to abide by.

The guidance paper talks about the policy structure of healthcare cybersecurity, discusses rules and business policies, cybersecurity priorities, and comes with strategies for utilizing and protecting telemedicine services.

At this time, no federal agency has the ability to create and enforce privacy and security requirements for the entire telehealth setting. At least, telehealth systems must implement security and privacy relative to all types of care.

Healthcare organizations are advised to adhere to the guidelines suggested in the white paper and make use of the ideas well suited for their risk profile to improve privacy and security protection to get the utmost benefits from telehealth and telemedicine services.

The HIC-STAT white paper may be downloaded on this page.