The Role of Cybersecurity in HIPAA-Compliant Translation Services

The Role of Cybersecurity in HIPAA-Compliant Translation Services

As healthcare cyberattacks surge, cybersecurity is paramount. A 60% year-over-year rise, affecting over 40 million individual patients’ data in 2023, highlights the growing complexity and harm. Robust cybersecurity is crucial to protect individuals from evolving threats and safeguard the integrity of sensitive health information. 

Let’s take a closer look at the role of cybersecurity in HIPAA-compliant translation services.  

Building a Strong Defense  

Terra is a language service provider (LSP) that handles the translation of very sensitive information, as such, we understand that cybersecurity is imperative. These are some of the measures we have in place to build a strong defense:  

  • Proper monitoring. All electronic devices owned by Terra are monitored through Microsoft Azure tools, which detect potential threats. Our translation management system tracks all log activities for projects, generating a distinct timestamped record on projects with ePHI
  • Secure on-premises servers. We have our own secure on-premises server in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which ensures that the data stays within our safe environments. This also gives us more control over information management in real-time and on demand. 
  • Unique logins. Everyone with access to ePHI has a unique login and strong password—which is frequently updated for additional security.  
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Terra utilizes this program to ensure security through MFA for all Active Directory users.  

An Ongoing Commitment to Improving Cybersecurity  

There are some other steps the Terra team takes to continue to improve our cybersecurity efforts: 

  • Continuous risk assessment. Terra executes risk assessments on a yearly basis under the most stringent guidelines and practices to preserve the security of all private information entrusted to us. During this assessment, our processes are audited by an external consultant specialized in HIPAA compliance and IT security. Their recommendations are then implemented so our processes, protocols and software comply with the latest regulations and stay at the cutting edge in terms of cybersecurity. 
  • Security protocols. Our routers actively track and log all attempted security breaches. We conduct regular evaluations to detect any unusual behavior in our processes. 
  • Data protection measures. Our IT department explores new advanced technologies to strengthen security and implement robust backup and recovery plans for ePHI integrity during emergencies or system failures. 
  • Fostering a culture of compliance. Our team regularly trains to uphold our commitment to safeguarding sensitive information. Continuous collaboration with the IT department and our Privacy Officer allows each team member to play a vital role in compliance. 

Cybersecurity beyond healthcare 

Terra places the highest importance on maintaining robust cybersecurity measures and not just because of HIPAA compliance. In the language services industry, all sorts of confidential and sensitive information are handled in a digital format that is usually shared electronically.  

“In the healthcare field, it could be a medical record that would really hurt people if it were made public. But at the same time, in our other verticals, we handle court statements, sometimes from extremely dramatic situations, that no one would want to see disclosed. In other sectors, the damage can be just economic, but it can be huge and disrupt industries,” Dr. Matías Giannoni, Ph.D. and Privacy Officer at Terra explained.  

The takeaway 

The imperative role of cybersecurity in ensuring HIPAA compliance cannot be overstated for LSPs. As technology bridges geographical gaps and facilitates the global exchange of information, the responsibility to safeguard sensitive patient data becomes paramount. Terra’s Privacy Officer, in conjunction with our vigilant IT Department, plays a pivotal role in fortifying cybersecurity measures not just as a regulatory requirement but as a fundamental pillar in safeguarding privacy, maintaining confidentiality, and preventing potential harm to the different industries we work with. 

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