Since 2004, National Cyber Security Awareness Month, or NCSAM, has helped to promote and encourage protection of all online assets and infrastructures for businesses and individuals. With constant technological advances coming to the healthcare industry, the need for online security is more important than ever before.
How Do You Keep Your Practice Secure
As a healthcare administrator, you know it’s difficult to manage all of your online assets at all times, but consistently following a few best practices will allow you to breathe easy knowing your infrastructure isn’t at risk.
Ongoing Staff Education
When a new employee starts, your first reaction is to educate them on the ins and outs of your practice. But, how often do you remember to review the importance of cyber security risk management? Employees will often have access to important and confidential information such as ePHI from both external and internal sources. Make sure to:
- Create strong passwords and authentication.
- Monitor who is trying to access your network and information.
- Put strong procedures in place to keep your security current.
- Ensure that all staff utilize their own log-in when accessing ePHI.
- Train and test employees on HIPAA/HiTech guidelines and your internal policies on proper security practices.
- Don’t forget to retrain staff consistently.
You can find more useful tools with this guide from the FTC.
Securely Store Sensitive Information
From paperwork to communication between a patient and your office staff, it’s important to make sure that everything is securely handled and stored. While there are a number of guidelines to follow for becoming HIPAA compliant, it’s important that your practice develop an internal system to maintain that sense of security. This can be as detailed as an online database, or as simple as a handy checklist.
From initial setup to disposing of the data, make sure you have fully documented the life cycle of any documents or programs and you’ll be much less vulnerable to any sort of attack.
Take Preventative Measures
One of the most important rules in Cyber Security is to be proactive and take preventative measures on all levels. Whether it is simply updating all software on your systems or implementing SSL validation on your website, your practice should be staying ahead of the curve for security features from the IT level to part-time staff. If staff leaves, make sure you are following the proper protocol for data security.
When damage is done, it is nearly impossible to reverse anything without encountering some sort of change. Consider implementing restrictions and security procedures before proceeding with any data transmission and clean up won’t even be a thought!
For more information about updating to a secure website, contact us today!