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What Your Health Practice Needs to Know About Cybersecurity According to NY and NJ Top MSP
Cybersecurity is no longer just a buzzword, rather it is an absolute necessity for businesses today. To take it a step further, healthcare providers are required by law to assess their data security controls and implement appropriate safeguards to ensure the protection of patient data. The HIPAA Security Rule requires the protection of electronically stored, protected health information through both physical and technical safeguards. This can be a daunting task, especially for those who are not cybersecurity experts. To make things a little easier, here are 3 things your health practice needs to know when it comes to security in the digital world.
Your Own Employees Are Your Best Defense
Make your own employees your first line of defense! You might be wondering how on earth you turn your office staff into cybersecurity experts. The answer is that they do not have to become experts. However, they can be easily trained to prevent many common security breaches.
One of the most frequent ways that hackers gain unauthorized access to data is through phishing and malware attacks. With some basic training, your employees can learn to spot suspicious emails and delete them before anyone clicks on those phishing links! You can even make learning fun. Hold contests and award small prizes for the person who reports the most suspicious messages.
In addition to suspicious emails, your employees should also be extremely familiar with best practices such as password management and unattended PC’s. You might think that leaving your PC unattended for a few minutes is no big deal, but a lot can happen in a few minutes! It is extremely easy for someone to gain unauthorized access to records by using someone else’s computer. And do not forget password rules – no sharing of passwords and never write down your passwords on a stick note under the mouse pad! Shouldn’t we all know that by now? Yes, but frequent reminders never hurt. For an in-depth dive into cybersecurity best practices for personnel of all levels, register your team for 3nom’s free Security Awareness Training.
Minimize Human Error
Lost or misplaced medical records not only threaten to harm your credibility as a healthcare provider but can lead to a slew of financial and even legal implications. Most such errors happen due to human negligence or a simple human error. However, with so many factors at risk, they are not to be considered lightly.
The most effective way of minimizing the loss or incorrect handling of medical records is a combination of three technological solutions. First, switching to electronic medical records (EMR) from paper documents and files reduces the risk of accidental misplacement or exposure of the documents to someone not intended to see them. Second, customized automation can make these electronic records “flow” seamlessly through the system, ping users with notifications when any information or action is needed, and drastically improve the productivity of the workflow. Finally, frequent backup (and its regular testing) will ensure that no matter what happens, your critical records are secure, accessible, and safe.
Perform Frequent Testing
It is almost impossible to know how well your systems and procedures are working unless you proactively stress test them. Try sending some suspicious emails to your office and see what happens. Does everyone report it right away or do many of your employees mindlessly click the links or attachments? If it is the latter, then perhaps some additional training may be necessary. Also, remember to walk around and check for unlocked and unattended PCs. Remind everyone that securing their workstations is a must for protecting patient data.
Frequent testing of your systems is also crucial. New security loopholes are discovered every day, so you want to make sure that no one is using a new vulnerability to steal data from your practice. You should test all aspects of your network from the firewall to end-user applications. You might be thinking that you have no idea how to do this. That is OK! Keep reading as that brings us to our next point.
Partner with an Expert
Your expertise is in the medical field, not cybersecurity. Just as most people would not want a computer expert diagnosing their medical condition, it is better to leave cybersecurity to the experts. While you can do some of the things mentioned above yourself, many of them should involve a cybersecurity expert who can advise you of best practices and resolve issues as they arise. A Managed Services Provider, or MSP, is usually a good choice of a partner. They can use their years of expertise to help you develop a plan for protecting any data you may store in your practice, and they can put that plan into action and implement those security controls. 3nom is the leading MSP provider in NY and NJ that prides itself on a no-cookie-cutter approach to their clients’ needs — just like you. Get in touch with 3nom today to protect your patient data and your practice from cyber threats.