Protecting patient data is critical for even the smallest businesses. Knowing how to protect patient data doesn’t mean you have to be a technological genius.
Modern technology is always developing and so are its risks. Companies around the world are advancing daily and moving their important data online. However, this shift involves new dangers as more and more cybercriminals are also advancing their skills. The healthcare industry is at an especially high risk of cyberattacks due to the sensitive nature of most patient data: crucial identifying information like dates of birth, social security numbers, and even names are high-dollar targets. Working with managed IT security services providers is the best method for how to protect your computer from ransomware attacks and a great means of protecting patient data, but there are also several ways to take action on your own. If you want to know how to protect patient data better in the coming year, check out these three helpful cybersecurity New Year’s resolutions.
#1 – How To Protect Patient Data By Assessing Security Risks
One of the first ways to improve your company’s cybersecurity is by performing a risk assessment. Determining exactly what you are dealing with when it comes to your current level of security is essential, and a risk assessment is one of the best ways to do this. It will offer you an overview of your company’s security strengths and weaknesses as well as provide guidance for improved methods of preventing a patient data security breach
Generally speaking, risk assessments include an across-the-board evaluation of the services your company utilizes and pairs them with an estimation of which cybersecurity threats will likely have the most impact on your infrastructure. Some business owners choose to forgo risk assessments in the hopes of cutting costs. However, improving your security level is worth the funding upfront because skipping these assessments will likely incur greater costs to correct security breaches later on.
#2 – Prevent Patient Data Security Breaches By Strengthening Passwords
Another great way to improve your company’s security and protect sensitive data is by updating your passwords. This type of information can easily be breached by cybercriminals, and updating it can mean the difference in securing or losing patient data.
There are several creative ways to strengthen passwords, and they are all relatively simple to implement. Just making your passwords longer can be a good place to start. Any password you create should be at least ten characters long; the added length alone can make it harder to guess.
Adding special characters is another easy method to make passwords more effective. Most password-hacking programs can easily pick out words and letter-number combinations, but adding special characters makes your passwords much harder to crack.
Simple as it might seem, you should also take care to avoid writing down any passwords. This might seem helpful for remembering the passwords yourself. Unfortunately, they can then be stolen by anyone who has access to the area in which you store them, resulting in a detrimental patient data security breach.
#3 – How To Protect Your Computer from Ransomware Attacks By Prioritizing Software Updates
Another way to improve cybersecurity for your business is to keep up with software updates. These are easy to overlook or ignore and often considered a nuisance because of their regular reminders. However, these updates can do more for you than you might expect.
Not only are they designed to improve the functionality of your tech, but they also are made to patch flaws and vulnerabilities in security. Hackers create new bugs, viruses, and other malicious software (or “malware”) every day. If your software is not up to date, hackers are much more likely to find a way into your systems.
Cybercriminals do not typically attack simply to inconvenience you. They are most often after any valuable data they can access. Hospital ransomware attacks can be especially dangerous to the business because of the vast amount of information about patients typically stored in online systems. Not actively updating your software can grant them this access and put you in a dangerous situation.
For example, you could easily fall victim to ransomware attacks, in which hackers find and encrypt sensitive information (like patient data) and require payment from you before returning it. In some cases, they even accept your payment without ever returning the data. Keeping your software up to date might seem like a simple fix, but it can also be the key to preventing malicious attacks altogether.
More Helpful Tips
These are three very important steps toward improving your cybersecurity and knowing how to protect patient data in the new year, but there are many more tricks to include in your arsenal. Do not be afraid to study up on the trends of cyberattacks or hire a managed IT security services provider so you can be better prepared. There are several cybersecurity best practices you can begin to raise standards in your company, and pairing these with insight into the largest cyber threats of recent years can do a lot to fortify your security infrastructure.
Let Scale Help You
You do not have to face your security improvements alone. Whether you are unfamiliar with the best technology practices or have other demands on your time, we can help! Scale Technology is a managed IT security services provider. We can assist you with any of your technology and cybersecurity concerns, from performing risk assessments to managing IT security services and from how to protect your computer from ransomware attacks to how to resolve ransomware attacks. Call 501-588-3199 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation for your IT and cybersecurity needs.