PBAC in Healthcare: Why Does Healthcare Need Dynamic Authorization?

Oren Harel
July 25, 2021

In today’s digital landscape, Identity and Access Management, or IAM, is critical for managing who can access what and when for virtually any type of organization. Perhaps nowhere, however, is IAM more important than in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare organizations face unique challenges that only policy based access control (PBAC) can address at scale. From complex compliance requirements, to persistent cybersecurity threats, to the need to share medical records securely with patients, healthcare providers need dynamic and fine-grained access control solutions.

These challenges are not exactly new of course, and many healthcare organizations already have some kind of IAM system in place. But those solutions are often not holistic enough to enable the type of scalable, end-to-end access control that drives success for modern healthcare organizations.

For these organizations, policy based access control offers a solution that streamlines access control for healthcare data and makes it easy to align technical controls with business requirements. 

Here’s how PBAC helps healthcare organizations achieve a greater level of mastery over their data than conventional IAM can provide.

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Access control challenges for the healthcare industry

While organizations in every industry need to manage access and authorizations, healthcare organizations face challenges on this front that are especially intense:

  • Compliance: The compliance landscape for healthcare providers is growing increasingly complex. In addition to healthcare-specific compliance frameworks like HIPAA, healthcare organizations that manage digital data must also contend with newer data privacy laws, like the GDPR and CPRA.
  • Intense customer expectations: Consumers are especially sensitive to privacy concerns related to health data. They expect not only that providers keep their data safe, but also transparency and open communication about personal health information. This is why Gartner cautions healthcare organizations to develop “strategies for notification, communication and minimizing the amount of data collected and retained.”
  • Expanded use of data: As HealthCatalyst notes, “healthcare leaders commonly refer to data as the industry’s most valuable asset, yet stakeholders struggle to efficiently access and leverage this critical resource.” One of the reasons why is that sharing data efficiently, securely and granularly is difficult, especially when organizations make data available directly to patients.
  • Security threats: The healthcare industry faces a barrage of cyberattacks, due in part to ineffective data management and access controls. “It is too common for health facilities to exchange massive databases around the organization,” Security Boulevard writes. “Without data access controls and robust and adaptive authentication methods, it is difficult to authorize the right employees for the right action.” 

“There were 51% more cyberattacks on the healthcare industry in 2020 compared with 2019” according to Bitglass.

To address these challenges effectively, dynamic authorizations are required.

 Dynamic authorizations that are controlled by a centralized Policy Based Access Control (PBAC) solution that enables governance, management, and enforcement of the right controls at the right time.  

Get a Demo of PlainID's PBAC solution

PlainID’s policy based access control solution

PlainID’s policy based access control solution solves these challenges by providing a holistic, dynamic, fine-grained access management system. 

  1. With PlainID, healthcare organizations can define granular access control policies for individual users both within and beyond their organization. Access control policies take into account who the user is, what relation they have to the data they want to access, their certification level and more. 
  2. In addition, PlainID provides visibility and insights into those access control policies, addressing the required compliance controls to its fine-grained needs.  
  3. Lastly, because PlainID enables the implementation of dynamic authorizations, security and risk requirements are met to the highest degree.  

In short, healthcare organizations have long struggled to manage data efficiently and securely. Those challenges will only become more intense as compliance rules grow in complexity, security threats against healthcare organizations increase and they face greater pressure to utilize the data they collect for research.

PlainID offers a solution for dynamic authorizations in the form of its Policy Manager product, making it easy for stakeholders to set meaningful and efficient access control policies. Learn more by requesting a demo of the PlainID platform.

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