Did you know that research has found the Healthcare sector is the most targeted and easy to hack, compared to the financial and the governmental sectors. Scary stuff. This is due to the kind of data that medical practices possess, such as patient personal and billing information, which is considered to be highly valuable and due to the ease to access such data.
So how can you reduce risk?
The following are the 5 top tips that we suggest all Allied Health practices follow to avoid being hacked or losing data:
Install an antivirus (AV): everyone needs to have one, even home users. Antivirus subscriptions are very easy to purchase and they can processed online also. You will need something that performs regular scans on your systems and that will detect threats in a timely manner. We recommend and use Webroot, which is efficient, functioning and cost effective.
Protect sensitive data : you are storing case sensitive files, with patient records and personal information. The quality of the backup system is important. Ensure your storage is password protected, that everything on your server is backed up regularly, automated, stored offsite, tested and easy to restore.
Password management – avoid duplicating: these are some systems we recommend and that are out there that you can take advantage of to enhance your IT Security. LastPass is one of the password management tool that we suggest using. Keep your files and programs sealed and protected, it makes it easy to share with the authorized staff and, especially, remembers the passwords for you.
Careful what you plug in your computers: do not plug in random USBs in any computers in your practice. USBs can carry virus scripts that once inserted in the device, encrypt all the data contained in the network. This is not to say that someone is actively trying to hack you directly, but that person's USB might be infected without them knowing either. It is not worth the risk or losing all your patient files.
More passwords : there is nothing wrong with being extra careful and adding an extra layer of security in your systems. Protect your devices with PC pins and passwords and make sure you lock your device when you leave office or your chair at reception.
If you are not sure what to do and don't have these systems in place already, we recommend you contact an IT professional for further instructions and support.
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