cybersecurity threats

Cybersecurity Threats Are on the Rise in the Midst of Coronavirus

Did you know that over 2 million people had their medical identity stolen in 2014 alone? 

Medical identity theft is now a big business for cyber hackers. If even one of your patients has their medical identity stolen it can cost them thousands of dollars and untold headaches in paperwork. 

You don’t want your medical practice to be the reason one of your patients has to go through medical identity theft. Staying vigilant against cybersecurity threats should be a priority for you.  

With everything going on right now it can be easy to forget about keeping your systems and networks secure. You likely have staff members working from home as they practice social distancing. 

However, they must maintain caution throughout their workday. It can become easy to forget you’re on a work computer as you check email quickly. And this is exactly what the criminals are counting on. Right now they are specifically targeting the healthcare sector as they know that life is far from ordinary in your medical office. 

If you’re overwhelmed about not knowing what to look for or how to protect yourself, don’t worry. Keep reading to see how the criminals are targeting businesses and your best practices for protecting your patient’s private information. 

Start With Education About Cybersecurity Threats

Educate your employees about what to look out for to avoid becoming a victim of the latest hacking scams. Some prime examples are to not download third-party apps on their work laptops. These can provide easy avenues for hackers to access a secure laptop.

Additionally, when it comes to email, emphasize to your employees not to open any attachments that come from external email addresses. This is a prime way hackers like to get into your employees’ computers. 

With a little education, you won’t have to worry about compromising your patients’ secure information. From demanding money to doing it simply for the joy of saying they succeeded, hackers everywhere don’t have a singular reason for their crimes.

Unfortunately, they have a singular focus on healthcare companies right now. So do everything you can to protect your practice that you’ve worked so hard to build up. 

Stay Vigilant Against Cybersecurity Threats

Keeping your office secure from cyber-criminals goes beyond creating secure passwords. While this is a very important piece to enduring your office computers and software programs are safe, they’re only the tip of the iceberg. 

Elite hackers are working overtime right now amid the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic. And your medical office is their favorite target. They know you don’t have the same IT budget as the bigger hospitals, yet you still have all the pertinent information about your patients.

Hackers are counting on your fear of breaking HIPAA laws by accident. They know that you’ll do anything to avoid your patients’ private information being exposed. And so, they work hard to hack your system then blackmail you into paying them so they don’t expose your security breach.

However, you must stay diligent during these times. You might have staff working from home, but ensure that they are still using every precaution to keep your patient’s private information secure. 

Nobody Is out of Reach

Nobody is above being targeted by hackers. Recently the World Health Organization released a statement that hackers had been actively attacking their server, website, and internal email system. The statement issued by the WHO emphasized not clicking on any links within emails or other messaging systems, such as WhatsApp.

With everyone working online right now, the scammers know you’re an easy target. They know you’re still communicating with your internal staff. And they’re determined to access your system in any way possible.

In the hacking news world, now is the time to be extremely vigilant in your security systems and practices. You can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting your patients’ private health information. 

Keep the Walls High in Your Security Measures

From phishing to malware and ransomware to regular hacking, cyber-criminals are using everything they have to hurt you. You need to give as much attention to your security measure to avoid being their latest victim. 

You might consider your IT department as an afterthought. But cyber-criminals give it great consideration, and so should you. Learn how to avoid hacking scams by educating yourself and your staff on the top ways criminals attack businesses. 

The criminals are continuously looking for the security gaps in your infrastructure. You must not let your guard down at any time. 

You Too Can Fight Cyber-Criminals

Your patients come to you with their most pressing health questions. They trust you to keep their information private. It is your responsibility to ensure that your medical office is as secure as possible.

From your administrators to your staff, it is everyone’s responsibility to frequently change their passwords, use difficult to figure out passwords, and to be especially leery of any external links sent to their emails.
Cybersecurity threats are on the rise. And, these basic precautions can go a long way in protecting your practice from being the next victim of a hacking scam. 

Yes, it’s important to keep your staff compliant with HIPAA laws, however, this is no longer enough. You’re can’t stop at worrying about your staff accidentally, or maliciously, leaking private information about your patients. You also need to protect your patients from the criminals looking to attack your database.

Don’t assume that because you’re a small business they won’t bother with your office. They will because they know you don’t have the resources to keep your security walls up at all times.

If you have any questions about how you can safeguard your patient database, email system, and other secure information, reach out to us today. We would love to show you how we can help you keep your office safe from cyber-criminals.

HIPAA Security Reminders

 

HIPAA Security Suite has developed a weekly HIPAA Security Reminder series that’s FREE for all of us who are responsible for, or engaged in, the use and protection of PHI.

Pursuant to Section 164.308(a)(5) of the HIPAA Security Rule, the Standard states: Implement a security awareness and training program for all members of its workforce (including management).

This standard is part of our Best Practices Recommendations for HIPAA Security Suite users, but it’s available for FREE to anyone who wants to comply with HIPAA using the easiest, best tools available.

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