Is your practice prepared for a cyber security incident?
If you run a medical practice, chances are that cyber security is something that you’re aware of. In between caring for patients and keeping up with the administration that comes with managing a business, you may not be left with a lot of time to stay up-to-date with the latest cyber security threats and what to do about them.
Unfortunately, cyber security incidents are becoming increasingly more common, and the healthcare industry continues to be a major target. While hospitals have become frequent victims of major cyber security incidents such as ransomware, even smaller practices can experience a cyber security incident that can lead to significant legal, financial and reputational consequences.
Protecting patient data by having a robust data security framework in place can be seen as an extension of patient care. As we navigate an increasingly digitised world, patients need to be confident that their personal information is being managed appropriately, that is, with a security- and privacy-first mindset.
We’ve developed a number of cyber security resources with busy practices in mind. Follow these steps to get started with a cyber security plan for your practice.
Assess where your cyber security vulnerabilities are
Knowing if your practice is adequately protected against cyber threats is an essential first step. The Cyber Security Assessment asks nine short questions to help you quickly determine where your practice’s strengths and weaknesses are.
Knowing where your practice could be vulnerable to cyber threats will help you identify the specific steps you need to take to protect your systems and data.
Have a cyber security incident action plan
Experiencing a cyber security incident can be extremely stressful. Having a plan in place will help you navigate the incident in a calm and logical manner and ensure you prioritise the tasks that need attention first.
The Cyber Security Incident Action Plan is designed to help you identify the steps to follow in the event of an incident, including who to notify.
Build your cyber security incident response team
Pre-determining the required actions, and who in your practice is responsible for each step, will save valuable time when responding to a cyber security incident.
The Incident Response Team Planning Worksheet is designed to help you identify and document who to engage if an incident does occur, their roles and responsibilities, and when they need to take action.
While these resources are a good starting point, you might want to further protect your practice with an expert solution. A product such as MedicalDirector Shield can be invaluable when it comes to cyber security. MedicalDirector Shield provides both a physical plug-in device for your network and around-the-clock monitoring by an experienced Cyber Security Operations Centre, as well as reporting, training and guides to help safeguard your data.
Preparing your practice for a cyber security incident does take effort, but you don’t need to manage this on your own. By engaging your entire team in the solution, and having a documented plan in place, you’re well on your way to safeguarding your patients’ valuable data.