With the recent surge towards telehealth, telehealth has become the biggest risk to healthcare practices’ cybersecurity.
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The recent pandemic has forced healthcare entities to quickly transition to telehealth, often without full risk assessments showing areas of risk.
Telehealth systems suffered a great deal of cyberattacks. Medical devices and COVID diagnostic devices were also major targets of attacks.
Protected health information (PHI) is always valuable to hackers and bad actors, as it often contains birthdays, Social Security numbers, payment information and more. The manner in which telehealth was implemented in many practices allowed hackers to easily obtain PHI.
So how do you protect your practice and your patients’ PHI?
Perform a risk assessment to identify areas of risk. Make sure that you know of all access points to PHI, including cell phones, laptops, etc.
Make a plan for what to do if any device is lost, misplaced or hacked.
Encryption is the best way to protect your data. Whenever and wherever possible, encrypt communications with patients.
Train your staff about cybersecurity, breaches, and cyberattacks. If your practice is aware of phishing scams, phony emails, ransomware and vulnerabilities, they will be more likely to prevent an attack.
Also, train your staff on your recovery plan, in the event of a breach. How will you mitigate the damage to your patients and your reputation?
We help our clients create comprehensive policies and procedures to account for breaches and cyberattacks.
Take steps to increase your cybersecurity. Inform patients of the types of communications that you send, and those that you don’t send so that they will be less likely to fall for a scam.
Diligence is key in protected PHI and preventing your office from falling victim to a cyberattack.
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