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Recognizing National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Recognizing National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Proper cyber security measures are a cornerstone of healthcare software. The systems, standards and teams in place to uphold cyber security allow key players – from providers to payers and software vendors – to do their best work confidently. 

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, this blog reflects on the importance of data privacy, how to encourage cyber security in your organization and our commitment to upholding the highest level of security in our applications.

Held every October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a “collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the significance of cyber security and to ensure every American has the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.” 1

As a leading healthcare software provider, ABILITY, an Inovalon company, is proud to uphold cyber security best practices every day. Protecting patient, provider and employee information is a top priority for our team – and our customers and partners – year-round. 

Why cyber security matters

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear of data breaches in healthcare, with 47 data breaches reported just last month, and of those, 16 involved the exposure, theft or impermissible disclosure of more than 10,000 healthcare records2. The biggest data breach was reported by the State of Alaska Department of Health & Social Services, affecting the personal and protected health information of 500,000 individuals.2 

Numbers from last month alone make it clear why it’s critical to stay on top of cyber security, but the added financial costs echo the importance. As an industry, healthcare has the highest average total cost of data breaches, at $9.23 million annually (up 29.5% from 2020)3. Comparatively, the global average total cost of data breaches is just $4.24 million annually, with some industries even seeing a decrease from 2020 to 2021.3

How to improve cyber security 

Cyber security is the responsibility of each person within healthcare, from administrative staff and caregivers to those working “in the background” to support providers with the tools they need to succeed every day.

To stress online security and encourage safe habits, consider:

  • Sharing cyber security resources with your team
  • Sending regular emails throughout the year to remind team members of their responsibility to protect private information
  • Making cyber security training part of onboarding and ongoing training
  • Posting simple compliance reminders around the workplace 

Every action to protect online privacy matters, no matter how big or small.

Cyber security at Inovalon and ABILITY

Inovalon has implemented a defense-in-depth cyber security program that layers protections throughout physical, data, application, platform, network and monitoring/compliance layers. We maintain seven audit frameworks across the company to ensure security controls are operating as intended, and we have a comprehensive cyber security monitoring center.

Within the ABILITY suite of products there are additional layers of security and certifications. We are HIPAA certified, ENHAC accredited, have received the CORE security award and we are considered a covered entity by CMS. Plus, as a network service vendor, we are under more scrutiny than your average software company. 

Inovalon and ABILITY recognize industry-wide standards and our awards as a great responsibility, so within every application:

  • Security isn’t a feature, it’s an expectation
  • Security happens at a platform level
  • We are continuously ensuring we remain in-step with CMS requirements across all applications

Additionally, our internal regulatory team heavily monitors CMS mandates.

For us, cyber security is the foundation of product and service excellence. It is an integral piece of all that we do within our ABILITY suite and across all Inovalon offerings.