Cybercrimes are on the rise and healthcare has grown to be one popular target. The reasons are obvious as the sector tends to have lots of confidential patient data that criminals really like harvesting. Not to scare you but the reality is that healthcare data breaches are on the rise. But, what can you do about it? There are lots of measures to secure your healthcare practice including using what’s known as an SSL certificate for your medical website. We will tell you why this isn’t just essential for your healthcare web security but for many other reasons as well!
What is SSL & How to Buy One for Your Medical Website
For starters, SSL refers Security Socket Layer certificate which is a digital piece of code installed on your web server to encrypt the connection between the server and the medical website user. This forms a secure connection thus reducing the chances of a third-party eavesdropping, or rather intercepting the communication.
SSL certificates are available online for purchase from different SSL providers. A great example of a common certificate in the market is one like Symantec, GlobalSign, or Comodo SSL certificate. Before buying though, you must define the purpose of your medical website and choose the certificate that will suit your needs the best. There are three types of SSL certificates i.e. domain validation, organizationally validation, and extended validation. The domain validated SSL are often the easiest to get, while the extended validation SSL has the highest verification standards from the SSL provider before it can be issued.
Yes, the process of acquiring SSL is what differentiates them. For example, for a domain validated SSL, you will need to verify the ownership of the website by availing personal details, primarily the address used to register. For an extended validation SSL certificate, the Certificate Authority (CA) will verify the legal existence of your medical business, identity, ownership, and registration along with domain ownership, etc.
Now, let’s look at reasons why you need an SSL certificate for your medical website.
What are the benefits of an SSL on a medical website?
1. Healthcare Data Security
One of the best advantages is the fact that SSL certificate reduces access to data by third parties through encryption algorithms. Computing has made it easy to collect, manage, share, and retrieve data quickly in healthcare settings including via medical portals. Now, that is the biggest loophole as cyber threats have also emerged with new techniques, and those who have unsecured websites are at the highest risk of being hacked. This is especially the case if you allow unencrypted data to be sent as plain text to your servers and vice versa.
An SSL adds a layer of security to websites. It has a private and a public key both to encrypt and decrypt the data. A public key is created to encrypt the message while private key does the opposite like decrypt the message. In an SSL secured medical website, hackers will find it very difficult to obtain your data.
2. Build Trust with Patients
Patients and pretty much many web users are getting scared of cybercrime as well. Patients are more skeptical than they have ever been, and they don’t settle for medical services blindly. Many go through the sorting process to identify the right medical service, and that also includes checking the security of the medical websites they interact. So, upgrading the security on your website with an SSL will certainly help you build the trust with patients and put you at the front of getting more traffic, which will, in return, translate into profits.
3. Boost Google Search Performance
Do you want clients to find you whenever they search for medical information on Google? Upgrading your website with SSL can help. Google is currently having an objective of ensuring safe interactions through the web by ranking more secure websites on the first pages. The visibility, coupled with the assurance of a safe website, will motivate people to consult through your site over others.
4. Ensure Compliance
Using SSL is part of securing requirement in the industry that ensures you comply with several regulations. For instance, upgrading the security with an SSL certificate allows you to collect money electronically via options like Credit Card reducing risks on safety of data. This is part of the steps towards PCI DSS compliance for your practice.
SSL is also important for HIPAA compliance. For example, if you allow medical appointments online where patients are requested to fill in personal details then HIPAA sees that as private data. In this case, as the website owner, you are obligated to ensure privacy, which can be attained from an SSL certificate. You must also know that failing to comply with HIPAA regulations and other security related rules and payment acceptance standards can lead to strong penalties for your practice.
5. Protect Your Medical Practice Brand
If none of the options are convincing enough, at least install an SSL to protect the reputation of your brand. Hackers breach the security of any medical website never do so for a good course. They can leak the data to scar the reputation, either of an individual or the organization, and repairing can be costly or even impossible (for example ransomware). They can also sell personal details to the black market, launch frauds for financial gain or try to access other websites with the patient’s details among other malicious reasons. In all cases, the healthcare breach falls back on the healthcare practice. Again, this is not meant to scare you but rather to show you why SSL certificates and other medical security measures are worth your attention.
That’s it! Now that you know the essence of SSL for your medical website, it’s time to buy and install it. Any business in the sector can and should use an SSL to protect a medical website. It’s a good fit for websites owned by dentists, health bloggers, doctors, therapists, fitness trainers, nurses, etc.