The benefits of MFA in healthcare
How vulnerable is the healthcare sector?
Security and data breaches are a major concern across industries. These breaches damage the company’s reputation, but they’re also expensive. As hackers continue to target user credentials, companies must power up their defense systems by employing more reliable access controls and improving security across the enterprise.
Companies in the healthcare sector are a top target for cybercriminals. This is because on the dark web, medical data sells for more than credit card information or other financial records, according to Experian. While as Health IT Security reports, the healthcare industry accounts for 79% of all reported data breaches as a result of hacking, and attacks against health care providers and organizations are up 45% overall.
When measuring the financial implications of data breaches across industries, the healthcare sector suffers the greatest losses. IBM’s 2020 study reports that the costs caused by data breaches in healthcare amount to $7.13 million annually, while the global average is at $3.86 million. To safeguard companies from the consequences of data breaches, security specialists have developed innovative technologies that make identity theft increasingly difficult. The most effective of these technologies is said to be multi-factor authentication (MFA).
MFA requires users to identify themselves using two or more verification factors, so as to ensure that they really are who they say they are. New MFA solutions offer the ability to completely replace passwords and any other identification methods that are known to be easily hacked. In this way they can increase account security and decrease the probability of unauthorized parties accessing sensitive records.
Benefits of Multifactor Authentication for the healthcare sector
Without further ado, let’s dig deeper into the benefits of MFA in healthcare.
According to the American Medical Association, cybersecurity is now treated as a patient safety issue. Insecure systems can lead to exploitation of your patients, potential lawsuits, business loss and reputation loss. Therefore it is key for healthcare institutions to strengthen their stance on security issues now with a solution that will preserve both their well-being and that of their patients.
With the use of multi-factor authentication, healthcare organizations can decrease the reliance on passwords, which can be a relatively hackable form of identification when used alone.
By eliminating the need for a password, MFA solutions can prevent identity theft, phishing and attackers from gaining access to a company’s resources even if they do happen to acquire a password. That of course does not mean that there is no need for strong passwords. Strong passwords continue to be crucial in the fight against phishing schemes.
More time and money
Traditional identification methods can slow down daily operations, resulting in a loss of productivity. That is not the case with MFA. MFA is way more secure, and it requires way less time.
Many healthcare companies require their employees to use long and complicated passwords every time they log in. This makes passwords impossible to remember, and easy to lose, while it also leads to what is known as password fatigue, with employees having to remember too many different passwords.
MFA simplifies logins and makes them effortless for the user, who does not need to remember any more passwords. This speeds up the identification process significantly and greatly improves a user’s overall experience (healthcare staff). By designing multi-factor authentication procedures with the end users' routine workflows in mind, an MFA solution can ensure authentication processes are optimized, removing the need for constant password resets and ensuring security improvements. This eventually leads to an increase in productivity, and also helps companies cut costs.
Greater convenience and improved hygiene
The user-friendly design of modern MFA solutions allow healthcare companies to improve their workflows, by simplifying security processes, instead of overcomplicating them.
MFA solutions can provide additional layers of security, without adding extra steps for the user however. The use of biometric technology, such as facial or voice recognition greatly helps to that end. It adds to convenience and improves hygiene. For example, with the use of touchless technologies healthcare workers do not have to touch anything in order to log in to different systems, while they can offer access to staff that were previously not able to access IT resources.
If healthcare workers experience added security as an enhancement to their daily routines, an organization’s efforts to strengthen their security will not meet with resistance. This is especially true in the case of biometric technology, with touchless MFA solutions offering greater convenience and improved hygiene.
Ready to secure your healthcare institutions with MFA?
Despite everything we previously mentioned, it is important to remember that no security can guarantee 100 percent effectiveness. On the other hand though, MFA has the potential to significantly reduce the risk to both patients and organizations. However, simple and effective MFA systems are from an IT security point of view, when being implemented they can still meet some resistance from healthcare staff.
It’s important therefore to communicate the importance of those systems to staff in order to overcome such issues and eventually make MFA the norm when it comes to healthcare authentication. Teaming up with a trusted partner can make the whole MFA deployment process seem like a breeze. With the help of Routee, you can instill a healthy security culture into your organization or clinic.