Every business has to have measures in place to prevent hacking. This is especially true in the healthcare industry. You have to abide by HIPPA regulations and keep your patients’ data safe and secure.
Healthcare is a particular target for hackers, because you can hold sensitive data. The number of IT and hacking incidents in healthcare has continued to increase year over year.
Any data security breach can do long term damage to your practice and cost your practice time, productivity, and patient trust.
How can you protect your website from hackers? Read on to find out.
1. Know the Latest Threats
In order to know how to best protect your practice, you have to know what you’re protecting yourself against. Hackers are creative, and they come up with new ways to hack websites and steal data often.
For example, one of the latest scams involves an email that targets website owners stating that they’ll send a series of emails meant to upset people and give your practice negative reviews unless you click a link and send Bitcoin as an extortion payment.
Don’t do it! It’s just a spam message that should be deleted. Emails similar to this are sent all of the time to unsuspecting people, hoping that you’ll click on a link or pay a ransom.
Whenever you see emails like this, you can ignore them. If you’re not sure, ask a security expert.
2. Keep Software Up to Date
About a third of websites online use WordPress as their content management system. WordPress is also a major target of hackers. One of the biggest reasons why hackers love to target WordPress sites is because site owners run outdated software on the sites.
Whenever a new version of software comes out, whether that’s a WordPress update or plugin update, it usually includes a security fix or two. Once those security updates are released, you want to make sure that your site is updated to the latest version.
3. Change Your Password Often
Another way to prevent hacking is to make sure you have a strong password that you change often. A password that’s easy to remember for you maybe even easier to for hackers to crack.
One of the most obvious passwords is 123456, which is still commonly used. The second most commonly used password is password.
When you have a password this easy, you’re making it much easier to gain access to your site. Use a strong password that you keep in a secure place.
It also helps to keep that password from circulating among staff. Instead of having everyone access your website on one account, give everyone who need access their own account.
4. Train Your Staff on IT Security
Not only do you and your IT staff need to be up to date on the latest hacking scams, but your entire office does as well. Employees are responsible for more hacking incidents than anyone because they aren’t trained to discern scams from legitimate emails.
You staff needs to undergo HIPAA training, and they should also undergo IT security training.
5. Use HTTPS
When you type in a website, you’ve probably noticed that more websites are using https:// instead of http://. That means that they’re using a secured socket layer, which secures the connection between your site and your visitors’ browsers.
If you don’t currently use HTTPS for your website strongly consider switching. It will help secure your website, your visitors, and Google recommends it, too.
6. Use Security Plugins
If you use WordPress to power your website, you’ll want to make sure that you have a strong security plugin installed. Two of the most popular plugins are Sucuri and WordFence.
7. Secure WiFi Networks
Many offices and hospitals offer WiFi to patients and others who may be waiting at the office. These WiFi connections are usually open to the public and unsecured.
That can put your website and your IT infrastructure at risk. You want to make sure that all WiFi networks, even those networks used by the public, are secured with a password.
8. Secure Website Directory
Hackers recently infiltrated the website of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Idaho and attempted to reroute customer payments to the hackers, instead of to the insurance company. The hacker also had access to the medical records of some of its members through the members portal.
It’s unknown at this time how the hacker got into the insurer’s website. You want to add another layer of security to your website by preventing access to your site’s back-end file directory. This is often a place where hackers will try to gain access to your site.
9. Control File Uploads
As a healthcare provider, it’s commonplace to have patients upload documents such as a signature or HIPPA Privacy Forms to their account.
Hackers can use this as a way to add an executable extension to such files. When clicked on, these files can unleash an attack that can bring down your website.
In order to prevent this, the best way is to limit or discontinue file uploads altogether. If you can’t do that, then keep your uploads in a separate folder and run a script that can detect malicious code embedded in the files.
10. Check Your Email Ports
Do you know how secure your email is? You already know that hackers will try to send emails hoping that you’ll click or pay money in Bitcoin to prevent hacking from happening.
Your email transmissions are another target that hackers will use you get into your systems. For example, if you use POP3 emails, your port should be 110. Otherwise, you may not have a secure email system.
Knowing How to Prevent Hacking
Your medical practice is at risk of being attacked by hackers. Small medical practices and large hospitals alike have to make sure that their websites are protected. A down website or a data breach could be devastating in terms of public trust, productivity, and revenue.
By putting measures in place to prevent hacking from happening, you are protecting your practice and your patients.
If you want to make sure that your website and sensitive data is secure, contact us today.