How can we take steps to help with cybersecurity when it’s one of the biggest issues in healthcare today? Year to date breaches have hit an alarming number, with records totaling over 1 million of stolen or exposed PHI (private health information). Of these data breaches, there were over 75 PHI data breaches and almost 700,000 records exposed.
Most of these data breaches were directly related to hacking. While few, some of them were due to unauthorized disclosures inside the organization. Hacking increases in the past year involve ransomware and malware attacks. Important information has been held for ransom causing healthcare organizations to lose revenue and credibility.
Patients are driven away because they don’t feel their data is safe. How do you assure them that their data is not going to be a part of a ransomware attack? Taking steps to improve cybersecurity is where organizations should start.
Any vulnerabilities in a network could lead a hacker right in the door. Let’s discuss three steps leaders can take to improve their cybersecurity.
How To Improve Your Cybersecurity
Complete Risk Assessments
Completing risk assessments on a regular basis can help your organization discover any holes in your security system. Having a dedicated IT team to serve as the liaison who checks to make sure computers are up to date with important software is helpful. If a patch has been missed or overlooked, it may cause a data breach. In the third quarter, over 30 data breaches occurred due to patches that were either not applied, or not applied properly.
Email data breaches were found to be the most common. People clicking on external links or responding to a phishing email unintentionally installed malware to their desktop.
Train Employees on Phishing Email
You may complete regular risk assessments and your system may be secure, but if an employee doesn’t know what a phishing email is or what it looks like, your system could get infected. Offering free training about email security will help in keeping your system safe.
These trainings should be on a consistent basis. As new technology is released and discovered, new ways of phishing and hacking occur. Staying up to date with the current trends and security is important for all employees. Teach them how to recognize emails that are suspicious and to notify the team if they see anything they believe is a threat.
If a new policy or procedure is written and released, employees need to be educated on it. This education could save your organization from the next big cybersecurity attack!
Having a Back-Up Plan
You did everything in your power that you could to protect your data. But, the hackers came anyway. What’s next? Do you have a plan?
The need to have a data recovery and disaster management plan is increasing every day. Hacking and phishing can still happen, even if you’ve done what you can to protect your organization. It’s important to have a plan in place that can guide you in the right direction when a data breach does occur.
If a breach occurred, your plan could stop it from growing any larger. It can also help prevent backlash from parties of stolen or leaked data.
Start Improving Your Cybersecurity Today
It’s not enough to sit back and say it won’t happen to you. It probably will, especially if you don’t take the necessary proactive steps to ensure your organization’s system is safe and secure. The importance of cybersecurity in an increasingly digital world is paramount.
Learn more about how your data can be protected from outside intruders today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KARI SIEGENTHALER
Kari Siegenthaler is a Marketing Specialist for the Marketing Department at Extract. Kari attained her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications and convergent media at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Wearing the “hat of all trades,” she has an unusual, hybrid ability to write narratives, creatively craft meaningful messages, and design graphically compelling images. Kari is passionate about effective communication and developing strategy plans that allow Extract to succeed and excel way beyond their goals.