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Every year, hackers use various software and tools to steal health records, credit card information, and other types of sensitive data. There is no doubt that your medical info is valuable for identity theft and fraudsters. This article will point out how you can prevent health and medical information from getting hacked by cybercriminals, so you don’t have to suffer severe consequences in the future.
Train Your Staff on Cyber Security Protection Measures
To protect your medical data, train staff in cyber-security practices. Include a cyber-threat awareness module in employee onboarding programs and annual training sessions. Your training should cover protocols for protecting patient data and test participants’ knowledge about acceptable practices.
Your employees should know about security regulations and state laws. You should also train your staff to limit access to sensitive data. Ensure that they can’t check their emails on hospital computers and don’t access patient records.
If you’re not sure about an employee’s credentials, you can always track their history of access. Keeping all of your staff up-to-date with your cyber security practices will keep your medical information secure. Remind them monthly through newsletters, lunch-and-learns, and webinars.
Update Your Software Frequently
Devices that don’t receive critical updates may be vulnerable to cyberattacks and putting patients at risk. Moreover, the process of updating your software can introduce new security vulnerabilities.
That’s why it is essential to update your software regularly. Fortunately, this task doesn’t need to be complicated.
Avoidable errors made by users cause most data breaches. Keep your operating systems and email programs up to date and set them to update to prevent vulnerabilities automatically. If you don’t, you’re just inviting disaster. So, make sure you regularly update your software to keep it safe.
Hire Cyber Security Services
A cybersecurity service can provide a comprehensive solution to help protect the data. In addition to using multiple redundant facilities, cloud-based software is always available. This means that patient records are available all the time. In the case of a server failure, cloud-based software will continue to run.
Additionally, a cyber security company can develop a layered defense system for your medical practice. A layered defense essentially implies that numerous processes must be completed before someone can access your data.
This ensures that in the unfortunate situation a hacker gains access, they will be thwarted and denied full access to your system. Additional cyber-protection, such as a robust firewall and up-to-date anti-virus software, is one option. Still, physical security, such as surveillance equipment, physical locks, and security officers, is another.
Access to Patient Records Should be Restricted
According to Harvard Business Review, security vulnerabilities can be more prevalent in the medical industry than in other sectors. Restrict access to your patients’ records to keep them safe, enabling only authorized staff members to see them.
Designate users with certain privileges. For example, a nurse has different privileges than the receptionist, so a nursing assistant should access different information.
In addition, all users must have the ability to perform their roles, which requires access to all patient information. For example, a nurse shouldn’t have access to a patient’s file if the receptionist has it.
Remove dismissed personnel from access as soon as possible, and keep an eye on access history by auditing the system to see when and what records were accessed, as well as who accessed them.
Pay Attention to Your Passwords
A typical password mistake is using the same password for multiple platforms, such as email and web applications. This puts your system at risk of being hacked. This is why you should encourage your employees to use different passwords for every platform.
It would be helpful to encourage them to change their passwords frequently. Please don’t use the same password for all your accounts and store them securely. Please don’t include them in emails or shared documents. Instead, use a trusted password storage service.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to protecting your privacy against the threat of identity theft. Knowledge about cyber security and privacy is hard to come by. Thankfully, there are various tools that you can use to help stave off this dangerous form of information theft and protect your medical data from being used against you or your medical practice.