Information Security Tips for Hospitals
Monitoring data access points, encryption, and ensuring a viable recovery plan is in place is essential for any hospital. However, that is not enough.
Hackers attack hospital information systems because this is where they can find sensitive data. This fact, along with the extra precautions required by HIPAA, makes it clear that hospitals must be vigilant when it comes to protecting data. From establishing a security culture to utilizing services from SSO providers, keep reading for some of the top data security tips for modern-day hospitals.
Create a Security Culture
Creating security policies is fine. However, these are not going to be helpful unless your employees know and follow them. Your hospital’s leadership has to set an example and help to train the other workers.
Protect All Mobile Devices
A feature offered by EHRs – electronic health records – is that you do not have to use them just on a desktop computer. While it may be tempting to let doctors access EHRs via mobile devices, it is a temptation that should be avoided. Mobile devices are more vulnerable to unauthorized access and theft, which puts data and information at risk.
Follow Good Online/Cyber Hygiene
Following healthy habits is essential to ensure patients’ health. However, it is just as important for a hospital network. To ensure proper cyber hygiene is provided, be sure to uninstall any unnecessary applications, wipe all data from unused or discarded devices, and change the default configurations.
Create and Use Firewalls
You should hire professionals to set up firewalls to protect your hospital’s network from potential external attacks. The firewalls can be based on software or hardware, which is all dependent on the hospital system’s size.
Install and Update Anti-Virus Software
With anti-virus software, you can feel confident that malicious code is prevented. This will ensure that your hospital’s system is not compromised. One of the most common ways that hackers gain access to a hospital network is through viruses. Along with installing the anti-virus software, make sure it is updated regularly to ensure ongoing protection.
Invest in Data Backup
All hospital systems are vulnerable to disasters, which include hurricanes, floods, fires, and more. They are also vulnerable to malicious hacking. When you back up data and information regularly and keep the backups stored in a secure location, you can feel confident you will be able to restore your systems if a disaster occurs.
Control Who Can Access Protected or Sensitive Health Information
You need to figure out who needs access to your patient’s records. Make sure these are the only people who can access this data. You can also use auditing to see who is accessing data. When someone leaves or is terminated, be sure you remove their access to sensitive information, too.
Create Strong Passwords
You need to use secure password best practices. This includes using multiple passwords, rather than the same one for everything and changing your password often. It would help if you also used passwords that are challenging and hard to guess. If necessary, utilize a random password generator and encourage your staff to do the same. You can also use multi-factor authentication and password resets for anyone who forgets what their password is.
Limit Access to Your Network
Having flexible networking tools will help ensure you have affordable solutions for your hospital. They will also create vulnerabilities in the network. While a wireless network may be easy to create, they are vulnerable to unauthorized access if you fail to encrypt.
Take Steps to Control Physical Access
Common sources of modern healthcare data breaches include missing data storage devices and laptops. You need to make sure the devices remain in secure locations where an unauthorized user will be unable to access them. Security policies need to restrict outside use, too, which will help prevent loss.
If you want to ensure that your hospital’s network is secure and that it remains secure, be sure to use the tips and information found above. It may also be necessary to hire a professional service provider to help you with this task. Hospitals are large and hold a lot of sensitive data, which makes them appealing to hackers. Taking the right steps to protect this information is the best way to minimize issues and breaches.