During the month of February, we’ve been focusing on ways to tune up your IT to keep security levels optimal and your data safe. This week, we’re taking a look at how hospitals can prioritize data security to protect against hackers.
In this day and age, when hospitals are packed to the brim with technology, protecting confidential information needs to be a priority. Just this past week, one Los Angeles hospital’s IT system was held for a $17,000 Bitcoin ransom by hackers after its computers were encrypted. Either the hospital didn’t have a backup and data recovery plan in place, or it presumably failed.
This isn’t the only time healthcare data security has been at risk. According to research conducted by the Los Angeles Times, cyber-attacks on hospitals have become more common, and in July 2015, hackers “may have accessed as many 4.5 million patient records in UCLA Health System’s computer network.”
Fortunately, it is possible to protect hospitals and other healthcare providers from attacks by hackers. We’ve summarized a few tips from HealthIT.gov below:
- Create a culture of security. This includes choosing security passwords, keeping mobile devices protected and keeping employees trained in cyber security practices. Check out our previous blog for more specifics that can apply to any industry.
- Limit network and physical access. Make sure employees aren’t installing any software on computers without prior approval (including peer-to-peer and file sharing software) and prevent hospital visitors from casually accessing the hospital’s network. Control physical access by keeping machines locked up and manage keys to any facility that stores them.
- Plan for the worst. Like in the case of the Los Angeles hospital above, you don’t want to be stuck without a good backup and recovery plan in case your hospital is attacked by hackers. Backup data from day one and keep it backed up as often as possible. If you can, consider storing backup data away from the main system.
If you have any questions about backup and data recovery or about IT security for healthcare providers, give us a call at 816-781-3006.