Healthcare App Security Testing: Best Practices With Free Checklist

12 months ago

The healthcare app market, especially the mHealth market has risen briskly over the years. 

With more than 200 new healthcare apps added to the app stores daily. 

Wait… were you already waiting for a but!

But! as the number of healthcare apps increases, so does the severe data security risk. 

Healthcare apps mainly manage critical information related to various patients and entities involved with their services.

Data is maintained in the form of health records, financial information, account details, and identification particulars under this arrangement. 

This information is important, and it necessitates high-level security safeguards to prevent any mishaps or falling into the wrong hands.

Yes! By wrong hands, we do mean criminals involved in identity theft business, hackers, and many more. 

With defence-in-depth checklists included throughout your healthcare software testing process, you may thwart assaults before they begin. 

Our robust team of QA engineers can develop absolute strategies by executing security tests of healthcare apps. 

Our other useful healthcare-focused blogs:

Steps you should take to ensure end-to-end security of your healthcare app

Failure to maintain impenetrable data security might result in unprotected data losses at $147,485 per lapse.

  • Data encryption

The healthcare data is mostly stored on servers behind firewalls. As a precaution, one must encrypt sensitive patient health data whether in motion or at rest. These best practices for healthcare mobile applications can assist in plugging any data leaks while fulfilling compliances.

  • Usage control

This practice not only helps in monitoring or controlling the access; it also blocks the suspicious usage of data of the patients in real-time. By implementing standards such as preventing users from doing particular operations such as uploading to the internet, illegal email conversations, transferring data to an external hard disc, and printing, among others.

  • Mobile application safeguard

Regular updates to mHealth apps aid in the continuing closure of security flaws and enhancement of mobile app security features. This will assist to keep hackers away from your mHealth app's loose ends for a longer duration.

Some of the strategies you may use to ensure effective data security include data security testing, network security, and penetration testing.

  • Validating security methods

Do you utilize two-factor authentication or an encryption technique to protect the data in your application? Performing security tests as part of your healthcare app security testing procedure allows for a thorough examination of your unique mechanism to assure safety.

Case study: How did we test the telemedicine app 5X faster?

Healthcare app security testing checklist: Advantages of security testing your healthcare app

Our QA testers have carefully created a checklist of advantages that you get when your healthcare app is security tested. 

1. Protecting PHI

The base on which healthcare stands is protected health information (PHI). All vulnerabilities and possible hazards connected with protected health information are discovered during security testing (PHI).

Strategic security testing also reveals decryption attempts and other threats. Ensuring that the healthcare app is up to the compliance standards of HIPAA, PIPHA, PIPEDA, etc.

Strong healthcare app security testing techniques indicate:

  • Gated and tokenized access restrictions are used
  • Application timeouts are always active
  • There are proper caching mechanisms in place.
  • SSL protocols have been proposed.
  • No PHI in URLs

Check out how we help you develop a HIPAA-compliant healthcare app for your venture in our recent blog >> HIPAA Compliant Development for Your Website, Software, and App

2. Data transmission security

The data should be properly protected and encrypted against any unauthorized access at every stage of data exchange. Because healthcare apps exchange data across cloud storage, email, and mobile devices.  

During proper privacy testing of healthcare apps, we ensure that data is shared only when the below protocols are in place: 

  • Data transmission through the cloud and web interfaces is SSL-encrypted, and only robust security methods, such as TLS, are used.
  • Implementing network-level encryption such as IPSec or SSH tunneling for non-web data transfer where application-level encryption is not accessible.
  • To transmit emails containing sensitive data, users must have access to compatible file encryption technologies.
  • For data transfer across devices, strong firewall restrictions are in place.
  • Email encryption techniques that are cryptographically strong are used to secure data transfer through email.

3. Enhanced software quality

Running your healthcare app for security tests also means giving preference to safer software for usage. With our capacity to detect bugs early in the development process to reduce overall costs and improve product quality at the time of delivery.

4. Data storage validation

Data being exchanged must, of course, be kept secure, but stored data must also be kept secure. Healthcare app security testing ensures the safety of your data storage methods, whether encrypted or plain-text.

With the help of our expert QA engineers, we analyze your existing security solution, encryption technology, and policy-based data management.

5. Compliance testing of healthcare app

We believe compliance is a stamp of approval. Our in-house compliance specialists are experienced in PHIPA, PIPEDA, and HIPAA. Making sure of security testing throughout your application testing process to attain it. 

Being compliant while security testing builds confidence in your investors, stakeholders, and users. Boosting the growth of your healthcare app in the long run. 

Implementing strong policies for security testing of healthcare apps

By now you must have learned how important security testing of healthcare apps is in the current technological scenario. 

In case your healthcare app fails to adhere to the security standards and a data breach occurs the possibility of heft fines from healthcare regulatory bodies can vary from thousands to millions of dollars. 

And we don’t want that for you. 

  • We offer provisions for a well-detailed guideline to carry out critical aspects with security as the main priority.
  • As a security tester, you will highlight current security features and redesign the framework for verification, data security, audit logging, and other tasks.
  • A calculated security testing methodology that includes data validation testing, configuration management testing, session management testing, business logic testing, and OWASP testing for vulnerabilities like XSS and SQL injection is also included.

The implementation of a clear policy framework is something that we always do when you come to us with a healthcare app idea or whenever we develop a healthcare app for you. 

Using PIA and TRA is of absolute emendation.

Privacy Impact Assessment is a process that assists businesses in identifying and controlling the privacy risks that arise as a result of new projects, technologies, software, initiatives, systems, and models.

If you just need to protect software privacy or identify software vulnerabilities to eradicate them, you should conduct a Threat and Risk Assessment.

Although, there is no compulsion on conducting PIA or TRA. But, there are certain privacy laws that you must comply with before launching your healthcare app and non-execution of that compliance can result in hefty fines. 

So, if PHIPA, HIPAA, or PIPEDA laws apply to you which they do in the case of healthcare apps. We strongly suggest you carry out the PIA and TRA. 

For a much deeper understanding, you should check out our detailed study on PIA and TRA.

We solve some of the biggest security challenges in healthcare applications

Working for almost a decade in the field of healthcare IT development, we have gained expertise in identifying and solving security, compliance, and privacy risks associated with healthcare apps.

Using privacy impact assessment, we have aided plenty of healthcare organizations, and healthcare apps to avoid security risks. 

Take a look at How Did We Execute PIA on a Healthcare Project and Eliminate all Privacy & Security Vulnerabilities?

So, if you have a healthcare digital solution and have doubts about its security, privacy or compliance, our healthcare IT, security and compliance experts are here to help.