With ransomware and cyber security threats on the rise, healthcare practices need to do everything they can to increase data security for their patients and prevent cyber attackers from retrieving their data. Healthcare practices not only need to take solid security measures to protect patient data, but they need to continuously update their security and stay informed on the latest security procedures, policies, and systems.
Here are the top five patient data security concerns to look out for in order to help protect your patients, employees, and business from cyber security threats.
Threats to Mobile Data
Many physicians use mobile data access to work with their patients and offer a stronger line of communication. Despite the benefits, mobile devices can increase the chances of data loss and/or cyber attackers hacking the data. To eliminate these risks, healthcare practices should consider a software vendor that will protect their mobile healthcare data and/or listen to the advice from their information technology (IT) team on safety practices when utilizing mobile data.
Ransomware is an incredibly common type of data security threat in the healthcare industry. Basically ransomware blocks access to a computer or files until a ransom is paid. Many companies and hospitals have experienced ransomware, and the costs to fix the damage can be astronomical. Ransomware can be avoided with a few simple security practices, including backing up data on a cloud-based system to prevent an attack. Additionally, it’s important to invest in a strong IT team who can update software on mobile devices and train healthcare employees on data security.
Many other threats can occur within a healthcare practice if no preventive measures are taken. First, email scams, such as cyber attackers sending malware through email messages, can spread throughout a network if opened or clicked on. Similarly, phishing scams are when scammers use email addresses or messages to steal passwords or personal data, with the intent of stealing money. Organizations can prevent these scammers by being aware of phishing scams, working with their IT team to protect against ransomware attacks, and making sure that their practice is secure.
Lack of Data Security Knowledge
Use of outdated systems or procedures often have great security threats or vulnerabilities. It’s essential to work with your IT team to understand security measures and how to use technology properly and securely. Physicians can improve their security by training their employees about security, keeping software up-to-date, and following digital healthcare standards.
Poor Security Measures
Security measures that organizations can take include backing up their systems, data encryption, and protecting patient privacy. An example of protecting patient’s privacy is converting patient photos taken on a mobile device into png, jpg, or tif formats, as well as keeping security and compliance in mind.
As the healthcare industry becomes more digitized, it’s important for healthcare practices to have a solid data security plan in place, especially when working with sensitive patient data. Protecting patient data and confidentiality from cyber attackers is crucial in this day and age, but practices can increase their security by staying up-to-date on security trends, being aware of outside threats, securing mobile data, and having a strong IT team.