May 10, 2023

Healthcare Cybersecurity & Third Party Integrations



The average cost of a healthcare data breach reached $10M, an increase of 42% since 2020, and the highest average data breach cost of any industry. 

With nearly half of all data breaches occurring in the cloud and 13% of attacks due to vulnerabilities in third-party software, identifying the right software partners to align with is critical in maintaining secure environments and upholding HIPAA compliance standards.

In this interview with ProCARE Senior Partner, Chris Barko, we discuss the nuances of third-party integrations, their impact on overall cybersecurity and what healthcare organizations should consider when evaluating and implementing software solutions.

Q: What should organizations prioritize as they look to third party software to integrate with their existing systems?

A: Organizations should consider third party software that frees customers from a higher total cost of ownership of provisioning and supporting internal software and infrastructure. 

Since a SaaS or a third party application typically works through a web browser, there is no client software required, with the data and application typically residing in the cloud.

Q: How can third party integrations escalate or mitigate cybersecurity risks?

A: The primary risks associated with third party integrations include user impersonation, data breaches, business disruption, abuse of resources and compliance risks. Third party integrations can create a path for a data breach, providing hackers with access to sensitive data. Data breaches can lead to compliance penalties which can be significant in the healthcare industry.

Q: Is there added risk with direct API integrations? If so, what do those potential risks entail?

A: The most critical direct API security risks include: user and function-level authorization, excessive data exposure, insufficient API resources, security misconfiguration, and insufficient logging and monitoring. 

In addition, sensitive personal and competitive information can be exposed by improperly configured or insecure APIs.

Q: How is ProCARE’s data integration process different from other softwares?

A: Our data integration process and DTU (Data Transfer Utility) tool are customizable for each client to meet their business and data requirements. The DTU is also bi-directional, managing both data imports from clients and data exports to clients.

Q: What are the advantages of establishing this type of integrations over a direct API integration?

A: ProCARE uses secure FTP (SFTP) protocol and encrypted data files for our data integration process with clients. The third party data integration and API risks previously mentioned (data breach/exposure, business disruption, abuse of resources, and compliance risks) are largely mitigated by not allowing direct access to ProCARE’s system and client data. Clients can only access their own data files available on their secure server location.

Q: As we look to establish the CARE Culture mentality in healthcare and examine the levels of burnout within cybersecurity and IT, it’s important to ask how ProCARE supports client-side IT teams.

A: Our professional services and customer success team members work with client finance and IT teams to ensure our data integration technology and customized data workflows are developed and delivered to meet client requirements. Once clients are live in production, our customer success team provides industry-leading support to resolve any problems.

Interested in learning more about ProCARE and our integrations? See why health systems and growth consolidators are choosing ProCARE.

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