Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) is worth more than credit card information on the dark web because the data that PHI contained is more comprehensive, making it ideal for identity theft. This makes most healthcare organizations highly vulnerable to being targeted in cybersecurity attacks. And when attacked, many healthcare businesses prioritize retrieving patient records by paying the demanded ransom. Protecting your organization’s office and patient records to safeguard them from cyber-attacks should be a top priority.
You can safeguard your healthcare business from cyberattacks by following these 7 essential tips.
Protect Your Healthcare Business With These Essential Tips
- Train your staff: One of the most effective ways to safeguard your healthcare organization from cyber attacks is to train your staff to recognize and respond to potential threats. Conduct regular training sessions that educate your employees on identifying suspicious emails, avoiding phishing scams, and maintaining secure passwords.
- Implement strong access controls: Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best practices to secure your healthcare business’s patient records against unauthorized access. Further, security can be enhanced by limiting access to sensitive patient data only to authorized personnel. Implement robust password policies, two-factor authentication, and role-based access control to ensure that only authorized personnel can access patient data.
- Use strong passwords: Make sure all passwords used in your healthcare practice are strong and unique. Avoid using easily guessed passwords such as “password123” or “admin.” A random mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols is best.
- Keep software up to date: Regularly update all software used in your healthcare organization, including operating systems, applications, and security software. A good security patch management plan will help identify known vulnerabilities and manage them immediately.
- Use encryption: Encryption protects sensitive data, such as patient health information. The best practice to follow is to encrypt data both when it is stored and when it is transmitted.
- Backup regularly: Regularly back up all important data to protect against data loss from cyber attacks. Make sure backups are stored securely and away from your primary systems.
- Have a response plan: Develop a plan for responding to cyber-attacks. This plan should include steps for identifying, containing, and mitigating the effects of an attack. It should also include procedures for notifying patients, law enforcement, and other relevant parties in the event of a breach. Regularly review and update your plan to ensure it remains effective.
- Ensure the data security compliance of your partners: If you work with third-party vendors for RCM, medical coding, or compliance, ensure that they are HIPPA compliant with SOC2 Type 2 Certification.