Computers have played a vital role in creating a central database of patients all over the country.
There is no need to wait for someone to fax over files of a patient from another state; doctors can now access them within seconds. Information listing a patient’s medical history, occupation, and financial records is just a click away.
It’s a fluid, hassle-free process for doctors looking to treat patients.
However, this sensitive information is susceptible to malicious attacks.
Cloud storage databases are online, meaning that a patient’s data can fall into the wrong hands unless there is a system to protect it.
Healthcare systems are statistically more likely to get hit by a cyber-attack than any other system because of the valuable information stored in medical databases.
Patients’ health records, financial details, and personal identification information are vital sources of information for identity theft. Hackers can steal, modify and delete information.
Tampering with vital health records deleting or altering any information can have serious consequences for a patient’s health.
Doctors using that information would make faulty decisions. After a cyber-attack, it costs three times more to repair the damage than any other industry.
We’ve compiled a list of safety measures that can deter cyber attacks.
For anybody using an online system in the healthcare industry, it’s imperative to inculcate safe practices to prevent any cyber-attacks.
Instruct all users to use authorized websites only to ensure no malicious software creeps into the system. Do not let anybody open spam emails and keep filters to prevent them from coming through.
It’s vital to get the message across; like healthcare, cybersecurity is an equally important aspect of the system, and both go hand in hand.
Arranging campaigns around the theme ‘Cybersecurity and Healthcare: Cyber is Wealth” ought to get the message across and stress the message effectively.
Multi-Factor Authentication System
Healthcare workers have access to patient information, and this freedom can be used unscrupulously.
It’s important to restrict this access by introducing multi-factor authentication so that only the relevant persons can get through and extract relevant information.
That’ll be a significant deterrent against hackers attempting to steal information. Authentication systems also prevent spoofing; scams that use email and text messages to extract personal details.
Regularly Updating Software
Updating security software means that protection definitions are regularly updated to counter emerging threats so the system can continue to defend itself against new types of threats.
It’ll significantly reduce the chance of hackers finding a back door to the information while also improving storage capabilities.
An Anti-virus system can only do so much.
They remove malware once it has entered the system. However, in some cases, even anti-virus software doesn’t prove to be enough. In this case, prevention indeed is better than the cure.
Firewall systems are an effective deterrent to prevent malware entry into an online system. It filters out any harmful elements and keeps the system safe with great efficiency.
They monitor the traffic coming in and going out of the system and block any suspicious material entering the system. Investing in a good firewall can solve a lot of worries in this case.
Secure Communication Lines
Even if a patient information storage bank is well protected, communication of that information can be intercepted and stolen, which is a danger again.
It’s essential to have secure communication lines, in this case with end-to-end encryption.
It’ll deter potential hackers from deciphering whatever they intercept, and it’ll be difficult for them to get into the communication lines in the first place.
Clear Communication with Patients
It’s important to establish a clear communication line with patients. Spare no details when letting patients know about the information-sharing policy.
Make it clear that no third party will reach out to them seeking information on your behalf.
In this way, trust can be built between the industry and its users while also ensuring that patients don’t give away their sensitive information themselves.
Using Approved Connections
On healthcare systems, only use secure connections that the administration has approved.
Using third-party connections is a significant risk as it opens the system to a world of hackers.
Using the cloud information pool in a secure, closed connection will not allow others to break into the system.
It will keep the information in the connected system only.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a security measure that hides your location when using public networks.
Patients and healthcare professionals can use VPNs to protect healthcare systems when connecting to public networks.
Access details will become untraceable for hackers to break through into the system.
Investing in a good VPN and making it compulsory to use for accessing the system outside of work can go a long way in protecting the system.
Information in the healthcare system is precious.
Apart from top-secret research, it contains invaluable information about patients and their details which can fall into the wrong hands and cause a lot of damage.
To ensure their safety, training staff to ensure safe practices, the use of authentication, using up-to-date software, using good communication lines and firewall systems are some measures that can help ensure safety.
Creating awareness about the issue of cybersecurity is the most crucial step in teaching people about the importance of cybersecurity, especially in the health industry.