Harnessing the Power of Microsoft 365 for Insider Risk Management in Healthcare

Healthcare institutions face an ever-present challenge: preserving the integrity and confidentiality of patient data. This task is becoming even more critical as threats evolve beyond external hackers, including internal threats known as ‘insider risks’. In response to this challenge, Microsoft 365’s E5 and A5 licenses offer a comprehensive insider risk management solution, including an innovative patient data misuse template, to mitigate such risks.

Insider Risks: A Deeper Look

Insider risks encompass threats originating from within an organization, ranging from an unwitting employee inadvertently causing a data breach to a disgruntled worker intentionally leaking sensitive information. In the healthcare sector, where patient data is extremely sensitive, managing these risks is crucial.

The Insider Risk Landscape in Healthcare

The Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report reveals that insiders were responsible for 30% of data breaches in healthcare, indicating the criticality of this issue. Furthermore, the Protenus Breach Barometer for 2019 reported that 59% of healthcare breaches were tied to internal actors.

Microsoft 365 E5 and A5 Licenses: The Key to Insider Risk Management

Microsoft 365’s E5 and A5 licenses offer a suite of tools designed to manage insider risks, with special focus on healthcare organizations. A pivotal aspect of this suite is a robust connector for importing Electronic Health Records (EHR) data and a patient data misuse template.

Patient Data Misuse Template: An In-depth Overview

The patient data misuse template is a potent tool designed to enable risk scoring for internal users, detecting suspicious activities associated with records hosted on existing electronic medical record (EMR) systems. The detection primarily focuses on unauthorized access, viewing, modification, and export of patient data.

This template essentially provides a risk management framework in line with the regulatory requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Both of these acts establish the requirements for safeguarding patient protected health information (PHI).

Implementing the EHR Healthcare Data Connector and the Patient Data Misuse Template

The process of implementing the EHR healthcare data connector and the patient data misuse template consists of several stages:

  1. Connector Selection: Choose a connector that integrates with your existing EHR system. Microsoft offers multiple options such as the Microsoft Healthcare connector or the Epic connector.

  2. Connector Setup: Follow Microsoft’s step-by-step guidance to configure the connector. This will involve granting necessary permissions and specifying the data types you wish to import and the frequency of import.

  3. Risk Scoring Policy Configuration: Use the patient data misuse template to set up a risk scoring policy for your internal users. This policy will flag suspicious activities in real-time, like unauthorized access, viewing, modification, or export of patient data.

  4. HR Data Integration: As part of this process, you will also need to set up the Microsoft 365 HR connector. This connector will import organization profile data for your users periodically. This data is crucial for monitoring and managing internal user activities and potential risks.

Given the sensitive nature of patient data, healthcare organizations can’t afford to overlook insider risks. By harnessing the power of Microsoft 365’s E5 and A5 licenses, including the patient data misuse template, these organizations can proactively manage such risks. While the implementation process might seem intricate, the benefits in terms of enhanced data security, regulatory compliance, and patient trust are invaluable.

As digital transformation continues to sweep across the healthcare industry, robust insider risk management is more essential than ever. Microsoft 365’s comprehensive solution offers a proactive approach to managing insider risks, helping healthcare organizations provide secure and trustworthy services.

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