Unfortunately, healthcare institutions have become an increasingly large target for hackers in recent years, so it is now more important than ever to practice good cyber-security practices to ensure your data is secure. Try to follow these top cyber-security tips to protect your organization from cyber-attacks.
1. Train Staff in Cyber-Security Practices
More often than not, the weakest link in your cyber-security practices is the user. Training staff to know how to protect your data is essential, as well as enforcing these measures, and education should be continuous. Uninstall any non-essential software and encourage employees to resist downloading any, as well as disabling file-sharing and remote printing to avoid accidental sharing of data to unauthorized personnel.
2. Don’t Put Off Software Updates
It may seem inconvenient to update your software but not doing so can leave your system more vulnerable to attack. Anyone looking to gain access to your data will be able to hack into your system easily if it is running on out-dated software, while they will struggle to break into up-to-date systems.
3. Limit Access to Sensitive Data
While data security in general is essential, maintaining effective cyber-security practices is even more crucial when you are responsible for sensitive private patient information. Sharon Jones, a health blogger at Ukwritings and Boomessays, explains the severity of this situation: “The consequences of failing to keep these confidential details secure can be severe, as the data is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) act.” To prevent this, ensure your security team restrict access to patient records, only allowing certain authorized staff members to access it. Always remove terminated employees from access and monitor access history by auditing the system to verify when and what records were accessed, and by whom.
4. Practice Good Password Habits
Often people have the tendency to make their passwords the same across platforms, but doing so puts your system at high risk of attack. Ensure employees all use unique passwords to access patient data to further protect your system. Employees should also be prompted to change this password on a regular basis and not repeat the same password multiple times. It is also important to store passwords securely – remind employees to never include their password in a shared or easily accessed document or email, and instead use a reputable password storage system.
5. Implement a Layered Defence System
Michael Brown, a tech writer at Academized and Essayroo, says : “Performing regular risk assessments to identify your system’s vulnerabilities will allow you to effectively protect yourself from cyber-attacks.” Having a layered defence simply means having multiple steps in place before someone can access your data, so that, in the case that a hackers gains access, they will still be tripped-up and denied full access to your system. This may be in the form of additional cyber-security, such as a strong firewall and up-to-date anti-virus software, but could also come in the form of physical security, such as surveillance equipment, physical locks, and security officers.
6. Establish a Plan to Recover From Data Breaches
Even after taking all of these preventative steps to ensure the protection of your data, it is still possible to become victim to a cyber-security breach. In the event of an attack, you should have a plan in place to allow your security team to respond immediately. Ensure your employees know what the protocol is in such a situation and regularly review this plan as well as your established security practices.
A data breach can wreak havoc, through identity theft, financial trouble, legal repercussions, and a myriad of other problems. For this reason, it is vital to practice good cyber-security education and protocols and ensure that these measures are enforced ad reviewed on a regular basis.
Molly Crockett is a successful lifestyle writer for Australianhelp and Bigassignments, where she shares her unique lifestyle tips and personal development advice with her audience.
In her spare time, Molly enjoys teaching writing skills to young people at Paperfellows.