October is cybersecurity month. It’s a time for individuals and businesses to reflect on their online habits and make sure that they protecting themselves from any possible threats. As the healthcare industry begins to rely more and more on technology, it must make sure that its cybersecurity is as strong as possible. Earlier this year hackers attacked Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and held it data hostage until a ransom was paid. The hospital ended up paying the hackers $17,000 in order to regain access. If the healthcare industry isn’t careful, events like this one will happen more frequently. In order to protect patients, the healthcare industry must take steps to protect their cybersecurity. Below are four cybersecurity tips that every healthcare organization should follow.
Healthcare professionals need to understand that cybersecurity is a big deal. Everyone should take precautions to protect the private data of patients. Organizations can accomplish this by offering required training to all members of their staff. When people understand what a security culture looks like, they’ll be less likely to make mistakes that could jeopardize patient data. Protecting patient data must be a priority of healthcare organizations. If this mindset is present from the beginning, mistakes will be less likely to occur.
Mobile devices like cell phones and laptops are easy to lose. They are also easy to steal. These devices pose a threat to privacy. Staff who use laptops must be aware of their setting. They must make sure that no unauthorized person can view the information on the screen. If data is transmitted over a mobile device, it should be encrypted to ensure its protection. Healthcare organizations also need to have policies about taking mobile devices out of the workplace. The device should be password protected so that access is limited to the appropriate person only.
Computers must be properly maintained in order to ensure they are safe and function properly. This means that the computer should be set up properly. It should be password protected. It shouldn’t have unnecessary applications on its system. Staff shouldn’t download any unnecessary applications. The computer should be updated regularly to protect it from new threats. Some organizations use parental controls so that employees cannot download unnecessary files.
Every healthcare organization should employ anti-virus software on its devices. New viruses appear every day, and hackers routinely develop new methods to steal data. Even a new computer with the best hardware is vulnerable to viruses. Anti-virus software is relatively inexpensive and worth the investment. Every computer should be set up so that at the end of each day the software scans for viruses. Anti-virus software will monitor threats and prevent them from seriously jeopardizing patient data.