With the month of October being cybersecurity awareness month, I thought I would share some of the easiest and best ways to implement cybersecurity strategies.
A Proven Method to Secure Your Practice’s Network
People don’t usually think about small medical practices when discussing cyber security. The media covers breaches in governmental and big-practice and hospital security in excess. These entities usually have lucrative targets that attract the attention of hackers but are often backed up with an extremely protective network security system that’s difficult to crack. When hackers can’t break the big system, they turn their attention to easier targets.
While most hackers want the opportunity to crack a high-risk target, these situations are few and far between. Instead, they turn their attention toward much lower-hanging fruit. This is where small Practices come in; they still have access to money and data but have much lower defense than a governmental entity. Luckily, many average cyber security strategies can keep the would-be hackers away. Their methods are always changing, though, and it helps to be one step ahead of the game.
These are the best current cyber security strategies you can put into place.
Cloud security is the protection of data stored online via cloud computing platforms from theft, leakage and deletion. As more and more Practices switch from hard-drive data storage to remote databases, this practice is becoming more and more commonplace. Methods of providing cloud security include firewalls, penetration testing and virtual private networks (VPN), to name a few. While many people feel that their data and information are better stored on a hard drive on their own network, data stored in the cloud may actually be more secure, depending on the system’s defense strategy. Be wary, though: not all cloud securities are made the same. Do your research and pick one that will best protect your data.
Network security is the protection of the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized access, misuse or theft. This is what your network administrator will need to put into place in order to keep your devices and data secure. The best approach to protecting your network is to create a strong WiFi password. Random numbers and letters work best for a small Practice since nobody but those who need it will be able to guess the password. In addition to a strong password, you’ll also have to anticipate any type of internal attack.
VPNs and Firewalls
A VPN can help protect your security by masking your IP address. This essentially means that you’ll be connected through a different server, making it much harder for the government or websites to pinpoint your location. It also encrypts all network data by creating a secure tunnel. A firewall is simply a shield that protects your computer from the Internet. Firewalls can help restrict access to sites that could be damaging to your network. Both of these tools can be highly effective when used properly, but they do not protect against all threats.
Updates and Upgrades
While it might seem simple, consistently updating and upgrading your technology tools can keep you much more secure. The developers of many of these tools are constantly looking for new threats that pose a risk to their program. They’ll issue patches to make sure any holes are filled. You just need to make sure that all of your tools are updated in a timely manner and verify that the updates are installing.
You should always have multiple backups of your practice’s data. You never know when a power surge or some type of natural disaster might cause your current files to be deleted. You can prevent this issue by regularly backing up your data.
It’s important to limit employee access to systems and data owned by your practice. Not everyone needs to have access, so only give it to those who can’t work without it. There should also be some type of security training for all employees. Phishing schemes and weak passwords create just as many issues as hackers do. Finally, you should make sure everyone in your workplace is security-conscious. A single breach could critically hurt your Practice. Your employees need to understand this so they can be proactive as well.
No matter which route you take, the most important thing you can do for your small practice is protect its network. Governmental entities and big Practices do not suffer from security lapses nearly as bad as small practices. A security lapse could even stop your practice dead in its tracks.