7 Best Healthcare Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Data

Healthcare industry is one of the most widespread industries in the world. As the world is moving closer and closer towards digitization this has affected the medical sector as well. Most of the healthcare systems are now online, databases are managed and connected and utilize the power of internet services.

The databases hold a huge amount of information and data including confidential and personal records of patients, their family history, transactional details, and credentials, etc.

This data is available in bulk and with the increase in digital devices being used in healthcare, the surface area for cyber-attacks by criminals has increased multifold. The security in the healthcare industry is weak and below par making it easy to target.

Since the security and safety of sensitive data of such many patients lie in the hands of the medical industry it is imperative that the required security measures are undertaken well within time and cyber-attacks are prevented.

1.    Training

Employee training is one of the first and most important tips to prevent cybercrime. Naive employees tend to panic in case the system is attacked and tends to make hasty decisions that may or may not improve the situation.

Well informed and trained employees have knowledge about responding to a disaster situation and its prevention. They are also trained about the HIPAA Controls that safeguard patient information.

An informed workforce comes in handy in preventing and reacting to a disaster situation more efficiently.

2.    Real-Time Evaluation

To prevent any cases in which false positive or false negative alarms cause wastage of resources and effort, it is best to use technology that monitors devices and data in real time.

Keeping a close track of security updates and upgrades, new security patches, existing vulnerabilities can help in identifying false leads for attacks and prevent unnecessary effort in the wrong direction. It is also helpful if regular checks and monitoring procedures are automated. This helps do away with the chance of a lapse or any sort of human error in tracking, updating or monitoring services.

3.    Access Control

Considering the widespread nature of the healthcare industry and number of employees providing services to patients at different levels, it is essential to control the amount of information that each employee can access.

Ideally, each person should be given access to data that is necessary for him/her to perform the required services.

No more information than necessary must be made available, to help prevent uncalled cyber vulnerabilities.

4.    Encryption using SSL and Wildcard SSL

The most basic step to be taken to ensure the safety of data is encryption of data. All forms of data transmitted to or from the databases and from or to any other device in the system must be encrypted.

One of the best ways to ensure the safety of data while it is being transmitted is the use of SSL and if healthcare unit/industry carries subdomains like blog.yourdomain.com, mail.yourdomain.com, payment.yourdomain.com then one of an ideal SSL is there naming Wildcard SSL Certificate.

SSL is the abbreviation of Secure Socket Layer and is used to secure data while it is being forwarded from the browser go through the various servers and then till the destination.

A wildcard SSL is like a normal SSL and in addition, gives one advantage which is that a single wildcard SSL certificate can secure the main domain and all its subdomains.

5.    Limited devices in the workspace

As the number of devices on a network increases, the chances of a cyber-attack automatically increase. Each of these devices may have different levels of security and hence one device may be more vulnerable than the others and hence act as a weak spot and an easy target for the launch of cybercrime.

6.    A pre-planned disaster recovery system

A disaster recovery scheme or a plan of action planned well in advance must be in the place that guides everyone about the steps to be taken in case of a cyber-attack.

A well planned and managed system helps reduce the level of harm caused and ensures that disaster solutions are followed with the best possible efficiency.

With a predetermined scheme, everyone is mentally prepared to handle a digital mishap caused by crooks and hence can act according to plan and the number of decisions taken in haste reduce considerably.

Massive data breaches may cause a whole lot more harm if not dealt with properly. Hence it is imperative to have a contingency plan in place.

7.    The role of a firewall

A firewall behaves like the first line of defense against any approaching threats as these get filtered out by the firewall.

It acts as a deterrent for intruders who wish to access sensitive data held by the databases or other transaction related data that is critical to the customers, patients or their families.

At the end:

The healthcare sector takes various precautions and measures to prevent and handle medical mishaps to the best of their capabilities taking into consideration even a massive scale epidemic.

In a similar way, cybersecurity professionals in healthcare must also plan, prepare and execute measures to safeguard data and credentials of this large number of patients and employees and all those associated to their sector and institutions.

Being well prepared for cyberattacks may lead to certain investments in infrastructure, software, updates, etc. but in the long run, they help avoid disasters that can potentially cause loss of resources, data costing a lot more.

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