Healthcare organizations are rapidly adapting to remote workforce needs. As mobile health technology improves and COVID-19 conditions drive virtual access demands, organizations should strive for remote work flexibility.

Shifts to virtual platforms present some unique security and risk management challenges, particularly in terms of healthcare data privacy. Previous more stringent policies must accommodate mobile workforces without sacrificing the compliance controls that prevent costly data breaches.

Security personnel may assume the move to a distributed workforce will increase their risk profile. However, effective Virtual Mobility Solution (VMS) implementation can enhance overall risk posture while ensuring better compliance, maximum scalability, and a highly secure Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

1.  Compliance

HIPAA compliance is a top healthcare organization priority. Hospitals must put adequate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards in place and regularly assess their risk, otherwise, they become liable for regulatory penalties. As of January 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) increased the maximum civil penalties for willful and incorrect neglect by up to nearly $60,000 per incident.

VMSs help healthcare organizations by providing more vigorous audit trails, improving overall device security, and ensuring that the transmission and storage of protected health information (PHI) only occur over company-approved mediums.

Effective virtual mobility platforms completely separate company resources from the employee’s device instead of relying on remote wipe and application-level security features. The employee cannot inadvertently disclose PHI by accidentally storing it with their personal data.

When combined with appropriate policies, auditing, and enforcement, these technical safeguards can provide security management with the assurance of mobile workforce compliance.

2.  Scalability

Scalability is a significant challenge for organizations adopting a mobile infrastructure. IT departments can become overwhelmed by providing support to users on a wide range of devices. Organizations need to ensure that they have an adequate network infrastructure to support the additional traffic, which may involve extensive VPN system upgrades.

VMS enables healthcare organizations to scale more effectively. IT personnel can implement and easily maintain a centralized, virtual infrastructure without relying on individual device capabilities. Users can download applications, connect to the virtual infrastructure, and access an immediately functioning virtual mobile operating system as if they were working on provisioned desktops using a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

3.  Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is common for most organizations. Even without explicit policies providing proper security and usage guidelines, employees use personal devices to conduct business. Without a firm policy and infrastructure in place, BYOD can be a security and compliance ordeal. A recent survey of cybersecurity experts found that more than 60% expressed concerns about data leakage, app downloads, and device content.

Implementing VMS can alleviate many BYOD concerns. Allowing employees to use their own devices improves efficiency while keeping organizational data from local device storage. Inadvertent data leakage or compromised devices are not an issue and do not put the organization at risk. Ensuring compliance with a virtual mobility-focused BYOD policy is simple due to less device configuration.

A Secure and Flexible Solution

Maintaining healthcare data privacy puts hospitals at a much higher security incident risk than other industries. Healthcare security personnel are cautious about introducing new policies that may increase vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, COVID-19 has proven that remote workforces are here and are likely to grow in the future. Virtual mobility should be top-of-mind for hospital IT security managers. Scalable, HIPAA-compliant VMS can preserve and even enhance an organization’s security posture.

Hypori Virtual Mobility™ delivers a military-grade, centrally managed, HIPPA-compliant, cost-effective solution for enterprises seeking to empower their workforce and implement virtual mobility. Hypori guarantees 100% separation between organizational and personal data and leaves zero footprint with no data residing on the mobile device.

Hypori® keeps all sensitive information in the organization’s data center and accessible through a fully-featured virtual mobile device. Healthcare personnel, administrators, and providers have the flexibility and convenience of using their personal devices while adhering to organizational security and compliance policies.

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