Data protection is a hot topic at the moment, especially when it comes to the secure storage of sensitive personal information. So what steps can hospital executives take to ensure that their cybersecurity is up to par?
The older your operating system or software is, the more likely it is to have vulnerabilities. While installing updates regularly can seem costly and time-consuming, it’s still the best way to keep the data stored on your system secure.
Ensuring that only people who really need to use the hospital's IT programs can do so is a great way to minimise risk. You could put an approval process in place for everyone requiring access or wishing to increase the level of access they have. Placing time limits on access where appropriate can help, as can cancelling employees’ access rights as soon as their employment contracts end.
It's a good idea to discourage staff members from accessing electronic health records (EHRs) via mobile phones, laptops and tablets where possible. If staff do need to access EHRs via portable devices, they should always use secure internet connections and password-protect their equipment.
Anti-virus software and firewalls should be installed on all computers, but end users also need to take responsibility for keeping data secure. You could introduce mandatory training programmes to ensure all hospital staff know, for example, how to come up with secure passwords, spot suspicious emails and work securely when off-site.
Encrypting personal data will prevent hackers from using it. Backing everything up is also a must. That way, if the hospital is the victim of a cyber-attack, you can get everything up and running again promptly.
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