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Digital Transformation in the Healthcare Industry

Over the past decade there is no question that the healthcare industry has experienced profound transformation when it comes to technology. This shift has brought enhanced patient care and streamlined processes.

One prominent advancement in technology for healthcare was the created of electronic health records, or EHRs. Healthit.gov defines an EHR as “a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. EHRs have becomes an instrumental technological advancement through the way they can:

  • “Contain a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory and test results,
  • “Allow access to evidence-based tools that providers can use to make decisions about a patient’s care, and
  • ”Automate and streamline provider workflows.”

One of the main reasons EHRs were created was to ensure health information can be created and shared across authorized providers in a digital format readily managed by multiple health care organizations. This allows for a broader network of communication and sharing between medical professionals seeking to diagnose and treat individual patients.

Another remarkable technology advancement has been the rise of telemedicine. According to Telehealth.gov, “Telemedicine, or telehealth, essentially lets your health care provider care for you without an in-person office visit. Telehealth is done primarily online with internet access on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.” Since the pandemic, telehealth has jumped in both the volume of technology solutions and applications across medical fields.

A third example of emerging healthcare technologies can be found in wearables.  “With an aging population in much of the developed world, wearables can be effective at prevention of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, by helping patients to monitor and improve their fitness,” notes Proclinical.

Wearable healthcare devices for monitoring and diagnostics are a kind of internet of medical things (IoMT) or healthcare IoT that facilitates remote patient monitoring (RPM) and supports telemedicine. “IoMT enables the use of new technology that facilities patient self-service and minimizes the need for in-person visits,” explains TechTarget. “Consumer-grade wearables give patients access to data that they might traditionally have had to go to a doctor to get.”

The convergence of healthcare and technologies such as these has paved the way for a new era of efficiency, accessibility, and innovation—redefining the way we approach medical services and patient data.

Importance of HIPPA Compliance and Data Security with the Advancement of Technology

With the rise of EHRs, telemedicine, wearables, and other healthcare technologies, there is a growing concern for data security and compliance. This is especially true in the healthcare industry where the data is always personal, and data privacy and security are mandated by law—specifically in the United States with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

The importance of safeguarding patient data in accordance with HIPAA regulations has driven the development of robust security measures, encryption protocols, and strict access controls. To maintain HIPAA compliance, digital technologies have regular security audits and updates to identify vulnerabilities and ensure that the systems adhere to the latest security standards.

On top of HIPPA compliance, platforms that manage data security healthcare may bolster data privacy and security by leveraging:

  • Blockchain technologies —by providing a secure, transparent, and efficient way to store and share information (such as patient healthcare records, prescriptions, diagnostic data across providers, etc.), blockchains are making it possible to improve patient care, reduce costs, and streamline administrative processes.
  • Identity as a Service (IDaaS) — offering a comprehensive solution that addresses identity management, authentication, access control, and compliance, contributing to a more secure healthcare system.
  • Passwordless authentication — by eliminating the vulnerabilities associated with passwords and delivering a seamless user experience, passwordless authentication methods improve data protection, compliance, and overall cybersecurity in healthcare environments.

ZorroSign Delivers HIPAA-compliant Privacy with the Elevated Security of a Web3 Platform

At ZorroSign, our HIPAA-compliant data security platform built in blockchain supports healthcare organizations with digital records, digital signatures, and document workflows.

Our platform ensures superior privacy and security with blockchain, IDaaS, and passwordless authentication, plus:

  • Legal enforceability — reducing insurance fraud with digital signatures that are legally binding, tied to the actual person (signatory attribution), and immutable with court-admissible security certificates that never expire
  • Cost-savings — through automating patient, diagnostic, insurance, payment, and recordkeeping workflows and digitizing paper applications, forms, and records
  • Improved patient services — digitizing your office operations to quickly execute, store, track, and retrieve:
    • Claims management, payments, and prior authorization
    • Facilities management
    • Human resources processes
    • Logistics and procurement
    • Patient sign-in and consent
    • Power of Attorney and Proxy Agreements
    • Prescription approval routing

ZorroSign is just one of the new technologies driving improvements in healthcare and expanding the patient services that healthcare providers can deliver.

To learn how ZorroSign can support your healthcare organization’s data privacy and security, visit our Healthcare industry page or contact us today!

Blockchain for IDaaS

What is IDaaS?

Identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) is any cloud-based identity management solution that enables organizations to securely authenticate and manage the identities of their users. IDaaS solutions can be used to manage a wide range of identities, including employees, customers, partners, and devices.

At a basic level, all IDaaS platforms are created to enhance online user experiences, secure access to critical enterprise applications, and reduce IT resource-related expenses with efficient identity and access management (IAM) and privileged access management (PAM).

“Sound identity management is essential,” writes Mark Diodati at Gartner. “Without good IAM, you are at real risk for data breaches and denial of service attacks. And IAM is hard to get right.”

The overarching goal of IDaaS solutions is to ensure users are who they claim to be—and to give users access to applications, data, systems, or other digital resources as authorized by their organizations.

“Some of the pros associated with IDaaS offerings include the ability to consume rather than host IAM and offloading some of the management overhead associated with IAM to an external provider,” writes Chris Hughes for CSO. “Other benefits include feature-rich offerings that make your IAM implementations more robust and secure in many cases. Most IDaaS providers offer native and integrated capabilities such as single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA).”

With this introduction, let’s look at how blockchain technology can help to improve and support IDaaS.

Blockchain and Decentralized Identifiers (DID)

One of the most well-known applications of blockchain technology in IDaaS is in the realm of decentralized identity (DID). A DID is a digital identity that is owned and controlled by the individual, rather than a central authority.

“Decentralized identifiers are stored on distributed ledgers (blockchains) or peer-to-peer networks,” explains Ethereum.org. ”This makes DIDs globally unique, resolvable with high availability, and cryptographically verifiable. A decentralized identifier can be associated with different entities, including people, organizations, or government institutions.”

Since DIDs are stored on the blockchain, they are more secure, transparent, and auditable. They also have the potential to enable individuals to have more control over their personal information and to reduce the risk of identity theft, ensuring peace of mind when it comes to the security of their personal data.

Blockchain and Identity Verification

Another area where blockchain technology supports IDaaS is in the realm of identity verification. Identity verification ensures that the individual claiming a particular identity is actually who they say they are. It is a very important, if not the most important, aspect of digital identities, especially as identity theft “frequency has sky-rockets in the past few years,” according to the National Council on Identity Theft Protection. “Nearly half of all U.S. citizens became a victim of some form of identity theft in 2020.”

Blockchain technology, however, can help to improve the accuracy and efficiency of identity verification by providing a tamper-proof record of activities and transactions. It can also help in developing new identity management systems with digital identity frameworks featuring decentralized identifiers.

Accenture, a global consultancy, has defined five immediate areas where blockchain-based digital identity management brings strong benefits:

  • Secure and seamless travel, even across international borders
  • Healthcare records that can be easily shared and managed by individual patients
  • Background checks and training records for educational and professional credentials
  • Streamline know-your-customer (KYC) processes across organizations
  • Validate proof of ownership or insurance of physical or digital assets

Blockchain Security Elevates IDaaS Data Security

Blockchain has the power to improve IDaaS’s solution’s data security by bringing the decentralized, cryptographically secured blockchain data architecture to identity management. An estimated 81% of hacking-related breaches leveraging either stolen and/or weak passwords, putting even IDaaS solutions at risk—however, blockchain technologies can help IDaaS solutions to eliminate one of the most glaring gaps in cybersecurity, as distributed ledger technologies (DLTs such as blockchain) provide two means of preventing and/or ameliorating the threat of ransomware attacks: First, by decentralizing the data set itself; and second, by giving endpoints a quick path to recovery, even if they are themselves breached and access ransomed.

For example, unlike centralized databases—which can be breached at unsecure endpoints (users and devices) or even at MSPs hosting them, giving attackers complete control once they gain central access—blockchain technology distributes data across geographically separate nodes. By decentralizing data storage, blockchain effectively prevents any one endpoint (even if compromised) from gaining control of the full data set. This distributed nature so defeats any attack seeking to breach a system and holistically encrypt the data files stored therein: A single endpoint node might be breached and its files held for ransom, but the larger data set cannot be controlled by any one endpoint (or central authority) and so attackers cannot capture the full data set for encryption, ransom, and shutting down the network.

Further, each endpoint node (or user) has a unique encryption key to access and write to the distributed ledger. If any one of those endpoints is successfully attacked (presumedly compromising their access key), the blockchain can simply remove distributed ledger access for that compromised key, issue the endpoint a new key, and allow that endpoint to quickly regain distributed ledger access (effectively as a new endpoint).

This unique recovery process maroons any ransomware on the endpoint it attacked—ending its access and threat—while allowing the endpoint to re-engage the larger data set: With a new key and without needing to pay any ransom to the attackers for restored access.

The Perfect Pair United on ZorroSign’s Platform

Blockchain technology has the potential to support IDaaS in many ways: It can provide a secure, decentralized database, and enable faster, more efficient, and heightened secure identity management. It can also help to reduce the risk of fraud and errors and provide a more transparent and auditable record of all identity-related activities across IDaaS solutions.

ZorroSign unites both blockchain architecture with IDaaS capabilities to help your organization better manage identity access and elevate data security!

Contact us to learn more about our data security platform built on blockchain and put us to the test:  Start your free trial of ZorroSign’s data security platform today.

While information and data have always been valuable commodities, they have never been as available and distributed as they are in our digital world today. With digital information being so readily generated and shared, data security rises in importance. Learning about data security and how it may impact your business, government, and personal life is a necessity. So let’s dive in to what data security means and its importance in today’s technologically driven world!

What is Data Security

“Data security is the process of safeguarding digital information throughout its entire life cycle to protect it from corruption, theft, or unauthorized access,” defines Fortinet, a computer, data, and network security company. “It covers everything—hardware, software, storage devices, and user devices; access and administrative controls; and organizations’ policies and procedures.”

“When properly implemented, robust data security strategies will protect an organization’s information assets against cybercriminal activities, but they also guard against insider threats and human error, which remains among the leading causes of data breaches today,” adds IBM. “Data security involves deploying tools and technologies that enhance the organization’s visibility into where its critical data resides and how it is used. Ideally, these tools should be able to apply protections like encryption, data masking, and redaction of sensitive files, and should automate reporting to streamline audits and adhering to regulatory requirements.”

The Importance of Data Security

In today’s digital world, protecting proprietary information—including client data, financial transactions, knowledge archives, infrastructure and databases—must be a top priority for companies and organizations. If they fail via data breaches, hacking, or theft, companies may lose customers and lose trust.

“All businesses have data that’s valuable and that has to be protected,” said Candy Alexander, international president at Information Systems Security Association, a nonprofit organization for information security professionals and practitioners.

Individuals and organizations rely on the companies they do business with to safeguard their data. If a trusted company fails at this task, the company will have more than just the legal fallout to contend with.

According to UpGuard, the combined cost of global data breaches in 2021—including customer repayments, auditing services, legal fees, and fines, among other costs—was approximately $6 trillion. But a failure to protect private information negatively impacts more than just a business’s bottom line, it endangers their reputation and future success. As such, companies employ skilled professionals to prevent or mitigate such risks.

“The cloud, mobility, and the powerful devices most of us have in our pockets enable a culture of convenience, and the ability to collaborate and be more productive. While this convenience arguably makes our lives easier, it also makes it easier for cybercriminals to gain access to our sensitive personal information wherever it lives or wherever it is traveling across the network,” explains SimpliLearn. “New security threats pop up all the time, and IT security professionals need to stay up to date with the latest tactics hackers are employing in the field.” Data security teams must include strategists, communicators, and lifelong learners to ensure IT security is consistently a top priority.

ZorroSign is a Data Security Platform Build on Blockchain

Advancing data security is critical for any technology managing data, and ZorroSign delivers data security in several ways.

The first way ZorroSign supports data security is by using distributed ledger technologies—originally built on Hyperledger Fabric, now expanded to include the Provenance Blockchain—ZorroSign provides superior privacy and security, while preventing fraud and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Blockchains provide structural layers of protection from cybercrime like ransomware, malware, or phishing attacks by decentralizing the data set itself (preventing any one breach to access the entire data set), and then by giving endpoints (or nodes) a quick path to recovery, even if they are themselves breached or their access ransomed. Unlike centralized databases—which can be breached at unsecure endpoints (users and devices) or even at managed service providers (MSPs) hosting them—giving attackers complete control once they gain central access, blockchain technology distributes data physically across separate nodes. By decentralizing data storage, blockchain effectively prevents any one endpoint (even if compromised) from gaining control of the full data set. This distributed nature defeats any attack seeking to breach a system and holistically encrypts the data files stored inside: A single endpoint node might be breached, and its files held for ransom, but the larger data set cannot be controlled by any one endpoint (or central authority) and so attackers cannot capture the full data set for encryption, ransom, and shutting down the network.

ZorroSign has further elevated our data security through our patented fraud detection technology we call the Z-Forensics token. This unique digital solution can:

  • Prove that the individual who is performing the action to sign the document is who they claim to be (verification)
  • Apply a digital equivalent of a wet-ink signature to the document (legal intent)
  • Prove the authenticity of the printed or digital version of an electronically signed document, its content, attachments, and the signatures on it (authenticity)

Plus ZorroSign supports computer security with passwordless authentication capabilities, leveraging the biometric security of Apple and Android mobile devices to login to the device (and ZorroSign app) with hardware biometric capture features such as face, fingerprint, and iris scans.  Such biometric login facilitates user authentication at the device-level without passwords (which can be hacked or stolen) for elevated security of digital signatures and your digital documents.

Contact us
 to learn more about data security and put us to the test:  Start your free trial of ZorroSign’s data security platform built on blockchain today!