National Cybersecurity Awareness MonthPosted: October 7, 2020 - By Melody Gandy-Bohr
Each year, October marks National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), a time dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. This knowledge is especially critical, as risks of cyberattacks escalated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent survey, 26% of respondents saw attacks rise in the first weeks of the pandemic response.
Medical practices can be especially vulnerable to cyber threats. Throughout the pandemic, bad actors have relied on tactics such as phishing emails, bad domains, malicious apps, and attacks on communications tools. But medical practices can follow proven practices to safeguard their operations from cyberattacks.
Protect Sensitive Data
To protect public health, many people are working at home—a situation that can expose them to increased cyber threats. Most home WiFi networks rely on weaker security protocols, which can allow hackers to access network traffic. Also, remote workers may use less-secure personal devices.
How can you mitigate these risks? Your practice needs a comprehensive security approach that educates your employees on security vulnerabilities. Alert your employees to the latest spam emails and malware schemes.
Put Safeguards in Place
Cybercriminals often focus on high-valuable targets, including financial and insurance information and medical devices. For medical organizations, protecting clients’ sensitive health information is vitally important. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology can help healthcare organizations safeguard personal health records and prevent cyberattacks.
AI tools can perform security assessments and detect malware. Also, AI can identify suspicious behaviors, such as hundreds of doctors appearing to access a specific record at the same time.
Create a Plan for a Data Breach
No one wants to suffer a data breach, but they happen all too often. Breaches can devastate any business, especially healthcare practices. But you can safeguard your organization with a comprehensive security plan. It’s important for businesses to know how to identify the full scope of the breach and restore data.
Also, businesses will need to communicate the breach to key stakeholders, including your clients. It’s also important to plan to report the breach to appropriate agencies. These steps can help you restore your operations if the unthinkable happens.
Be Smart About Cybersecurity
Although NCSAM calls attention to the importance of cybersecurity, your business should be cyber-smart year-round. Every medical practice needs to know how to prevent cyberattacks, such as malware and phishing attacks. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are always inventing new schemes to access sensitive data or hamper healthcare operations. Educating yourself and employees on the latest risks is a must.
Consider adopting advanced AI-driven technology to identify threats and stop cyberattacks before they happen. Having a recovery plan in place to restore operations quickly and communicate attacks to stakeholders is crucial to protecting your business from cyberattacks. Cyber threats are an ever-present risk in today’s connected world. That’s why a smart approach to cybersecurity is critical for every medical practice.