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IT Security – IT Support for Healthcare: How to Prevent Medical Information Theft

Medical information is far more valuable than credit card numbers or social security information, and it’s much harder to change once it’s been stolen. That means you need to be extra careful when it comes to IT services and security, especially since the penalties for carelessness can be steep—not just in terms of money but also reputation. Your patients trust you with their most intimate health details, so any hint of a breach could ruin your relationship with them for good.

Here’s what you can do to prevent criminals from gaining access to your patients’ sensitive data:

  • Protect your network with strong passwords
  • Stick with antivirus software
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Maintain physical security
  • Practice safe social media habits
  • Limit access
  • Back up regularly
  • Install patches
  • Secure mobile devices
  • Train employees

For many Healthcare Providers, IT security is a Pain Point

It can be challenging to know what you need or where to start. And if you’re a busy medical professional, the last thing you want to do is spend your time and money on technologies that don’t deliver satisfactory results.

But with patient data breaches on the rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure your medical practice is well-protected.

For many Healthcare Providers, IT security is a Pain Point
For many Healthcare Providers, IT security is a Pain Point

There’s Nothing like a Data Breach to make Patient Trust go in Seconds

Don’t let that happen to your medical practice. Here are the top ways to keep your practice and patient information safe:

  • First, make sure you have at least one dedicated IT security professional on staff. This person should handle all aspects of keeping your system secure, from determining what cyber-threats will likely affect your system to creating a plan to get protection against them. This person should also be checking in regularly with an outside expert who has experience working with the healthcare industry.
  • Second, educate staff about how to use passwords properly. Healthcare professionals must understand how vital password protection is—and how this can help them protect their patients’ information.
  • Third, create a strong firewall and malware protection system within your network.
  • Finally, make sure you have a robust disaster recovery plan in place. If a breach occurs, you will need to know what steps are necessary to quickly and securely restore your systems.

You Don’t want to be a Victim of Cyber-attacks

As a medical professional, you’ve no doubt heard stories of hospitals and doctor’s offices falling victim to cyber-attacks. These attacks can come through several vectors, including phishing scams, ransomware, and even direct hacking. Many of these attacks target big healthcare organizations, but smaller practices and clinics are not safe from them. Here comes the need for IT services and IT security in Houston.

If You Want to Protect your Practice from these Sorts of Attacks, read on for some helpful tips!

It can be difficult for doctors to know how to protect themselves from cybercriminals, especially when they’re already stretched thin. Here are a few tips that can help you keep your practice secure:

Use Complex Passwords

This is rule number one of cybersecurity: use complex passwords with a combination of letters (upper- and lower-case), numbers, and symbols that hackers cannot easily guess. If you have trouble coming up with unique passwords for each application you use, many password manager apps can help you out.

Make Sure You’ve Got The Right Software.

It would help if you had antivirus software that protects you from malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks, but antivirus programs require regular updates and patches, so they stay up-to-date on new threats. If you don’t actually know what to do, you will then need professional IT services.

Keep Your Software Up-To-Date.

Many applications will send out updates automatically when they become available, but some need to be updated manually. Keep your software updated to reduce the chances of hackers taking advantage of vulnerabilities in your system-since newer versions usually patch these vulnerabilities.

Be Careful What You Click On

It’s tempting to respond to email offers that look too good to be accurate, but clicking on those links can leave your device vulnerable to remote access by hackers.

Hire IT, Security Experts, To Audit Your Network And Assess Its Vulnerabilities

Recent attacks on the healthcare industry’s computer systems have hit the industry hard. Experts of network security in Houston can help you identify where you are most at risk—and what steps to mitigate that risk.

Who is at The Risk of Being Hacked?

It’s not just large hospitals or practices that are at risk of being hacked—criminals can target even small organizations and solo practitioners. Therefore, protecting patient information is essential because the consequences of a breach can be devastating.

Hackers target hospitals and medical organizations because they hold so much personal information, which is precious on the black market.

Beyond the damage to your reputation, your practice has significant financial consequences if you don’t take steps to prevent cyberattacks. And depending on the type of information stolen, you could even face legal penalties for negligence.

Hacking Has Become Very Common in Medical Industry!

By now, you should know that healthcare is one of the most targeted industries for cybercrime. The average medical practice has about 30,000 patient records and will see a 50% growth in data in the next five years. So it’s no wonder that more than 20% of all cyber-attacks are against healthcare companies.

The problem is how most people think about IT security and IT services: only big companies need to worry about it. But small businesses have more significant problems.

That’s because there are two types of hackers: financially motivated and ideologically motivated. You may have heard about the second group—they are usually called “hacktivists” and target larger companies or government agencies. They want to make a statement or draw attention to an issue they care about, so they go after high-profile targets with lots of sensitive data.

Financially motivated criminals are different—they are looking for quick payouts. They usually target small businesses because they can get in and out with less risk of detection than if they try to attack a large organization with better IT security infrastructure and processes. And since medical practices often have on-site servers with sensitive patient information, they are attractive targets for either type of hacker.

Are you Concerned about IT Support for Healthcare in Houston? If so, You’re Not Alone.

In 2017, the healthcare industry was hit with over 653 data breaches, exposing over 15 million records. This year has seen even more data breaches and ransomware attacks than last year. The security of patient information is a hot-button issue, and it’s up to every medical practice to ensure they’re doing everything they can to protect their patients’ records.

IT Support for Healthcare is a Must-have!

Every day, attackers find new ways to exploit software, hardware, and mobile devices vulnerabilities. If you’re not taking steps to protect yourself and your practice against these attacks, then you’re at risk of falling victim to an attack.

Your patients expect you to maintain their information securely. Likewise, your business relies on patient trust and an upstanding reputation to survive—but if you let your guard down when it comes to cybersecurity, then you might be putting those things at risk.

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