The greatest risk for healthcare industry technologies? Security of web and mobile apps & HIPAA compliance

11 July 2017 • 5 min read
The greatest risk for healthcare industry technologies? Security of web and mobile apps & HIPAA compliance
Andrii Horiachko
Written by Andrii Horiachko
Co-Founder and CTO at Softermii

The vast majority of businesses think of rolling out an app as fast as possible as the key priority. And that has a firm reason behind it, but such an approach can lead to major inaccuracies in code and holes in the web application security. For the healthcare industry attacks on their data represent one of the top risks. Having the app down or partially inoperable is a bad customer experience, but when an organization lets slip away the customers’ personal data, the end of the company’s reputation is nearing. Large budgets are allocated to ensure physical security and monitoring the perimeter. This is in part responsible for the bad guys choosing to target digital vulnerabilities in web applications.

Healthcare industry is one of the most regulated in the USA and worldwide. At the same time, it is fully embracing the digital age to improve the speed and quality of services and cut costs. The rise is healthcare apps is evident as seen in our recent article on Top 7 Healthcare Apps. Such abundance of third-party solutions is prone to data breaches, which lead to lawsuits and massive settlements. Healthcare organizations strive to integrate only the best apps in their app portfolio, but over 50% of these apps have been rated “seriously vulnerable.”

At Softermii we pride ourselves in being a leader and pioneer in the field of healthcare app security. None of our health care-related projects have ever been breached or compromised.

  • We strive to reduce costs and deploy secure applications from the start.
  • We recommend starting with an impregnable MVP and build upon it to comply with all security protocols and the need to offer immediate solutions.
  • Our security researchers are operating round the clock monitoring latest security developments and adding preemptive layers of security to guard your product.
  • We achieve such great results by combining the latest technological advances and human intelligence of our Senior Developers to deliver you with solutions in a timely manner.


Benefits of Cooperation

icon 1Governance & Compliance

Our application security team ensures that we offer apps in strict compliance with HIPAA and PCI US government regulations through ongoing code assessments, reporting and remediation advice to healthcare companies.

icon 2Continuous Assessment of Risks

We provide services to continually assess your web and mobile apps risks from the start of the project all the way to ongoing app support and upgrade without slowing down the development processes.

icon 3Code Visibility for Developers

We ensure that our developers, as well as your on-site development team, has a full and constant access to the code to identify and fix malicious vulnerabilities at any point of time to safeguard your clients and the development process.

icon 4Support of Coding Best Practices

Rest assured that our development team ensures the use of the best industry practices in secure application design. We are ready to provide your team with a remediation guidance and support of your ongoing projects.


All of our Work is Done in Strict HIPAA Compliance

Let’s go into detail about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is the top standard that takes care of all sensitive patient data and its protection. Softermii is among a limited number of companies that deal with protected health information (PHI).


Our HIPAA Privacy Measures

Privacy measures have no hierarchy as to the HIPAA regulations. Each point of access should still fully adhere to HIPAA if you plan that your app and organization, in general, is to fully comply with HIPAA.

illustration 1

Data Protection for Healthcare Organizations

With the ever-growing need for advanced apps with high UX and low development cost, the issue of data security is pushed to the margins. But as the electronic patient databases proliferate and grow the demand for additional security is on the rise. Provision of high-quality care in the digital age requires healthcare organizations to embrace the need for on-demand data access that is in full compliance with HIPAA standards and PHI protected. The key threats are:

  • 55% of all attacks are insider initiated by current and former employees
  • 4000 ransomware attacks a day that take patients’ data hostage
  • 56% more year-on-year third party infiltrations gaining access to private data


Benefits of .NET Framework in ensuring HIPAA compliance

We use the .NET Framework to ensure complete HIPAA compliance and data security. It is a set of class libraries and a runtime to ensure rapid creation and efficient operation of web services and apps. The .NET Framework vision is to offer simple programming coupled with the scalable free-to-use Internet protocols.


.NET advantages for HIPAA compliant applications:

  • Compiled controlled environment. More stable and predictable behaviors.
  • Conventional web applications provide a higher level of security compared to SPA or other types. All vulnerable data exchanged server-side. Clients are extremely thin.
  • High scalability with IIS farms or self-hosted applications.
  • SQL server provides built-in TDE encryption and backups.
  • IIS supports TLS 1 and higher out of the box. Secure transportation is always provided.


Code access security

Using the .NET Framework is a major step forward to ensure software security. Softermii uses it to provide a fine-grained and evidence-based security system around your app. It lets you provide the systems administrators and user a variety of granular permissions to ensure that they do not have access to the data they are not supposed to see. This is a step-up from the "all-or-nothing" security models that have been used in aged software technologies.


The best data protection solutions offered by Softermii

We offer solutions that recognize and protect patient data in all forms, either structured or unstructured, such as emails, documents, and scans. All of this is done through a web or mobile app that allow healthcare providers to share data securely and effectively. When patients entrust you with their healthcare, your organization needs to make it a priority to take care of their private health-related and personal information.


Talk to our experts

Once you have an idea for an app, for example HIPAA compliant video conferencing software, feel free to contact us and have it checked for your target healthcare market. We will ensure that all specifications, HIPAA regulations and best practices are met. It is helpful to approach someone who knows the tricks of the trade and can ensure a safe and smooth development process that is based on strategic insights, advice, and lessons learned. We are open to discussing your budget expectations, and potential compliance pitfalls you need to avoid, and so on. Such input is valuable to stop potential issues becoming real ones that can delay or even derail app development.

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