Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities are facing increased risks of data breaches. These cybersecurity threats put highly sensitive information at risk, including patients’ medical history and other personal data. How big is this problem in the healthcare sector? According to a recent report from the Office of Information Security, healthcare data breaches have been on the rise since 2012. In fact, these breaches have doubled in just the past few years. This growing trend makes IT and network security crucial for healthcare facilities. How can you make sure your healthcare data stays safe and secure? The following tips can help your hospital or healthcare facility protect data from breaches and other cybersecurity risks.
Our IT and Network Security Tips for Healthcare & Medical Facilities:
Limit Access to Networks
Keeping your networks secure helps lower the risk of data breaches. This involves using wireless routers with encryption to keep electronic health record data as secure as possible. Check for peer-to-peer applications on devices that can pose a security threat, such as instant messaging, and remove these. Don’t allow unrecognized devices to access your network, such as devices that patients or visitors bring in.
Control Access to Confidential or Sensitive Information
Electronic health records contain several pieces of highly sensitive or confidential information. It’s important to restrict access to this information in order to keep it secure. Setting up permissions that only allow those with the right credentials to access files helps protect this data. You can control access in different ways, such as limiting it to certain usernames among staff or allowing access based on certain roles in your facility.
Use Anti-Virus Software
Anti-virus software provides computers and other devices with protection from viruses and other threats. These typically exploit flaws or vulnerabilities in order to access sensitive information or compromise devices in other ways. Keep in mind that outside sources, such as flash drives, can also put computers and other devices at risk of viruses. Having up-to-date anti-virus software on this equipment in your healthcare facility helps guard against these kinds of risks.
Keep Anti-Virus Software Up-to-Date
It’s not enough to install anti-virus software on computers and other devices. Keeping this software updated is also important. Make sure PCs and devices have regular updates done to keep anti-virus software up-to-date. These updates provide protection from the latest viruses and other threats that are around.
Set Up a Firewall
Hardware and software firewalls help keep intruders from accessing your network and IT equipment. This helps lower your risk of data breaches, malware, and other security threats. Your equipment and devices might already have pre-configured software firewalls. However, you might not have a hardware firewall. If you have a large healthcare facility that uses a Local Area Network, having IT professionals set up a hardware firewall is an important part of keeping your network and IT equipment safe.
Provide Staff with Security Training
Make sure staff in your healthcare facility know how to use IT equipment and software safely in order to keep information secure. Provide training that helps staff learn about different types of cybersecurity risks and how to avoid them, such as being careful about opening email attachments. Offer training sessions as often as needed to keep all staff up-to-date on IT and data security.
Keep Mobile Devices Protected
Laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices make it easy for staff to access data, update electronic health records, and perform other tasks. However, they carry a high risk of data breaches and other cybersecurity threats. Make sure all mobile devices that staff use for work have strong password protection and data encryption. They should also be used with secure wireless networks only.
Protect Physical IT Equipment
Servers, computers, laptops, flash drives, and other devices and equipment can be stolen or tampered with. This gives outsiders a chance to access secure information on this equipment. Take steps to physically protect and secure IT devices and equipment in your healthcare facility. For example, keep servers in a secure, locked area that only certain staff can access. Reducing opportunities for others to tamper with or steal this equipment helps protect sensitive healthcare data.
Keep Your Healthcare Data Safe with Fastech Solutions
Fastech Solutions offers managed IT services and support to ensure safety and security. We offer 24/7 cybersecurity solutions to protect healthcare data from malware, ransomware, and other threats. Our services also include 24/7 network support for healthcare facilities to reduce the risk of data breaches, data loss, and downtime. With our help, your healthcare facility can receive reliable support and service to keep networks and IT equipment up and running as safely and securely as possible.
If you’re interested in learning more about our managed IT services, please contact Fastech Solutions. We can help keep your healthcare facility safe from data breaches and other cybersecurity risks.