Healthcare IT Security Tips
September 10, 2020
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Hospitals and other healthcare organizations have enough to be concerned about without needing to constantly worry about the security of their network. Unfortunately these times call for 24/7 supervision for virus, malware and hacks because not only are all of these increasing in number and severity year after year, but healthcare is one of the main sectors targeted.
With that being said, cybercriminals can be pretty predictable and their attacks can be prevented if you have the right tools and know what to look for. Here are a couple vital tips you should know so you can go back to worrying about your business and your patients.
One of, if not the most, popular attacks hospitals face are ransomware attacks. A hacker will introduce a virus to a computer or multiple computers that locks it up, with all of its files, and won’t unlock it until you pay the hacker. Typically you have to pay the hacker in Bitcoin (which is getting very expensive these days!) and even then it’s not a guarantee you’ll get your files back or another ransomware attack won’t just happen to you again soon after.
Hackers use this attack because it gets results. Hospitals will almost always pay the ransom because, obviously, they need their patient records and whatever else is tied to their network.
To prevent this sort of attack from happening, make sure you have external email filtering that’s more involved than the standard spam filter your email comes with. Ransomware and phishing emails can slip through the cracks, and all it takes is one staffer to subject the entire company to a virus. This brings us to our second item…
Educate your employees on the threats that could lead to a ransomware attack! It could be a phony email from a CEO, a fake website set up to look like a gambling site or ESPN’s front page, or it could be secretly bundled with a shady software. Make sure your employees use work computers strictly for work and that they know how to spot a malicious email, and the chances of ransomware happening to you goes down practically to zero.
Encrypt your Data
Data encryption, along with two-factor authentication, are absolutely necessary if you want to make sure nothing on your systems fall into the wrong hands. If you are a healthcare business with access to a lot of peoples’ confidential records and information, this is obviously a major priority of yours.
Two-factor authentication means that if a computer or application account, like an email account, is logged into from a device it’s not used to being accessed from, a code will be sent to another device that will need to be punched in before logging them in. For example, if a hacker tries to log into your email from their laptop and you have two-factor authentication set up on your phone, they would need to physically have your phone as well to see the code and log in.
If you don’t have two-factor authentication and a hacker breaks through, this is where data encryption comes into play. The simple explanation of data encryption is that if data falls into the wrong hands, those wrong hands won’t even be able to read it.
Encrypted data is translated into another code that makes it look like gibberish to anyone who doesn’t have the decryption password. This is a very effective form of cyber security, and greatly lessens the potential for disaster that comes with stolen laptops and work computers.
Fortunately you won’t have to look very long to get these kinds of services. Many cloud providers offer ransomware protection and data encryption, along with many other products that will keep your mind at ease. Check out the TOSS C3 website for more information on Disaster Recovery and Data Protection.
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