This may sound rather extravagant to you, but did you know that because of a breach in data security, as many as 5 million patients got their personal information exposed or stolen from around 300 healthcare systems? This is the primary reason the healthcare sector needs cybersecurity just like any other department or profession.
Information, be it of any kind is liable to stealth and if you don’t create safety measures in its path, chances are your patients, and your organization can face serious repercussions.
Technology is not something that you can get rid of even where healthcare is involved. From personal information to the actual medical procedures, everything is stored online and can be accessed by any person who wishes to threaten the patients or healthcare organizations. Problem is, the more technology grows, the more there are chances of security breaches. Question is, why are healthcare systems so vulnerable to these cybercrimes?
The answer is easy and on point. Healthcare contains information that is not available anywhere else. The doctor-patient confidentiality is compromised and people could never trust an organization that has a leaky information system. When once only the doctor knew all your personal data or his secretary at the most, now apps and medical gadgets store info like never before. Hence, increased chances of a security breach.
Research suggests that more and more people are becoming concerned about their personal information getting stolen from healthcare apps and organizations. Not only could this mean the use of nefarious ways to blackmail them, but also increased cases of stolen identity, and medical conditions that are private getting aired in public.
So what can be done to keep data personalized and safe? Use of cybersecurity measures. But how can you make sure that your healthcare services are completely safe? The following 6 tips will ensure that no patient ever losses their information to any kind of malevolent party.
1. Automating Software Updates
What is the number one cause of security breaches? The fact that all bigger healthcare organizations have decentralized IT systems. This means that all the information of all the patients they have is stored in one cloud memory that is accessible to all the hospitals or clinics related to that one healthcare organization.
Since most organizations are operating in more than one location, this makes it easier to access patient information from anywhere. But this allows for a major security violation. Hackers can easily get into the centralized system and get their hands on information that should otherwise have been private and confidential.
What can be done to reduce this risk of information stealth? Healthcare organizations should opt for automation to speed up the process of the software update and reduce the possibility of hackers attacking their information. Yes, this will make the whole thing a lot more challenging, but it will ensure the safety of documents and patient information.
2. Training the Entire Staff
There is nothing more important than getting your entire staff and crew involved with the process of cybersecurity. This does not mean that everyone should know what is done, but rather, it is essential to train them so that they can stay away from security risks and detect threats whenever needed.
Opt for comprehensive training of the staff so that they become skilled in cybersecurity measures and can recognize and then deal with threats. This includes suspicious emails, potentially harmful links, and other communication methods that can give rise to a security breach.
Teach the staff to get in touch with the IT department if they feel something is off and needs expert handling. Make sure that these training sessions are refreshed every few months so that the entire staff is cautious of these threats all year round.
3. Third Party Audits
Even if you have your own cybercrime workforce, there are chances that they overlook a major glitch in the system or a small security breach that can give way to larger crimes. Getting newer eyes to look at the same system can help in the detection of flaws otherwise missed. Therefore, getting third-party audits every year will ensure that your security is top notch. They will also be able to test your weak areas and recommend improvements that could help with increased cybersecurity.
4. Develop a Cybersecurity Workforce
It is highly recommended that instead of having remote or consultant cybersecurity people, you as the healthcare organization opt for an in-house cybersecurity workforce. What this will do is let you have access to experts’ right there when needed. If a breach takes place, the workforce will manage the problem within a few hours. Both your organization, nor patients, will have to suffer at the hands of any kind of cybercrime occurrence, and things will be managed effectively.
5. Mobile Device Management and Internet of Things
Mobile devices are just things that you cannot get rid of. Rather, they are a significant part of your healthcare organization in terms of the fact that you may have an app going on, or may be connected to patients through their mobile devices. What’s more, your employees will probably be connected to the internet server with their respective mobile phones and devices. This means that whether or not you like it, the internet is being shared by mobile devices. You can get mobile device management solutions that provide services like remote management (cases where data can be erased if the device is lost or stolen), real-time monitoring and reporting, as well as enforce application control.
Internet of Things or IoT can also likewise lead to multiple kinds of malware. The best way to avoid this kind of breach is through keeping a check and inventory of all IoT devices. This way, exploitation of any kind can be controlled and managed in time.
6. Upgrade Security Software
Just because you got a topnotch security program installed in 2015, most certainly does not mean it will work well in 2018 too. Keep in mind that security breaches continue to advance at a fast pace and can become pretty smart in a manner of days. Hence the need for an upgrade all the time. Connect with people who know the art of cybercrime and can help you upgrade your healthcare security systems.
These 6 actions will help in improving the cyber security of your healthcare system. If you feel that more is needed, get in touch with experts of cybercrime as they will best be able to guide you. Good luck!
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