In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many health institutions and practices rushed to implement new ways to access their patient records from an online space. While much safer physically, this also opened up new threats from cyber-attacks and data breaches. In 2020, cybercrime costs shot up by 69%, costing the industry $4.2 billion in related liability payments. With this ever-growing threat it is important to mitigate risks and implement safe practices in order to protect you and your patient’s data. What follows is a list of measures that can help keep your systems secure:
1. Educate your Team on Data Management and Security
While this sounds simple, many breaches in data occur through human error. Training your team to identify when something doesn’t feel right can save your practice from a phishing scam and subsequent breach in customer data. Providing training procedures teaching employees to avoid unsafe emails and downloads, and reinforcing the raising of suspicious issues can reinforce your security.
2. Secure your Passwords and Systems
Changing your passwords is an essential way to protect your systems and data from malicious breaches. Generic passwords, sharing accounts across the office, and publicly displayed login information are all compromising situations for your practice. By changing your passwords regularly and adding 2-factor authentication can significantly reduce your risk of data breaches and add an extra layer of protection to your systems.
3. Change to a Cloud-Based Data Software
Using Cloud-based software is already more secure than traditional servers, and allows for quick backup of any data. Cloud infrastructure allows for controlled movement of sensitive data and keeps the channels secure using encryption. On top of this, Cloud software runs heavy monitoring and alerts, making sure any potential threat is located and responded to quickly. Consider upgrading to a Cloud-based software for safer data channels and security protection.
4. Sign up for a Cyber-Liability Insurance Plan
The damage that can be done by cyber-crime can be devastating, especially in the medical profession. Hackers can hold up the network, steal data, or even in extreme cases cause bodily harm to patients. Cyber-liability plans can help you recover from any potential damages caused to your practice and even provide some preventative measures to ensure losses will be left at a minimum. Consider researching and upgrading your insurance plan to include cyber-liability to give your practice that extra layer of protection.
5. Have a Plan in Case of an Attack
In the presence of attack, many systems can be rendered useless and put physical risks to patients being treated. By having a backup of data and a coordinated plan in case of a breach can help get your practice back online faster and reduce any potential risks to patient safety.