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How to Protect Patient Data against Hackers

The recent ransomware attack that hit hospitals throughout Europe did so through a security opening in the Microsoft Windows operating system. Ransomware, unlike many other forms of malware, can sneak past firewalls and security measures, then communicate back with its central computer through encryption messages that are not picked up by monitoring programs. By the time the computer system identifies the threat, it is too late. With these new and continually evolving threats, how can you protect patient data against hackers? Here are a few tips to follow.

Install Software Updates Immediately

It is vital to stay up to date on all your computer updates. Often times Microsoft, Java and other applications on your computer put out updates designed to correct security issues. Failure to update when these are made available puts you at risk, so instead of putting off the updates, always install the data right away.

Avoid Opening Strange Links and Emails

While the WannaCry ransomware that hit Europe made its way through a back alley in Windows, most ransomware and other forms of malware enter your computer network through emails and bad websites. Due to this, you need to be mindful of what you’re browsing or what emails you’re opening. Some emails disguise themselves as messages from Google, Apple, PayPal or other large corporations and even include official-looking text and information. If the email seems a bit out of the ordinary, never follow the link. Instead, look up the context to see if it is a spam email fishing for information. It’s always better to be cautious than to follow a dangerous link. Remember, these hackers target work emails as well as personal emails, and any sensitive information stored on your company’s computer network can be compromised.

Cybersecurity and HIPAA

To comply with patient privacy laws, you must protect your patient’s data. As a service provider, you’re already required by law to have heightened software security. We all need to be up-to-date as individual users and as companies. DCI Software uses layered security measures, including passwords, PINs and biometrics to limit access to networked patient data. Security updates are released in real-time. These cybersecurity measures help to prevent fraud and avoid compliance issues, in addition to keeping patient information secure.

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