Data security has become a major concern for most Australian businesses, but especially for those in the health sector. This sector reported the highest number of data breaches in Australia, which accounted for 22% of the total reported. The privacy of collected patient data is not only an ethical obligation for medical practices, but it’s also governed by data protection regulations, such as the Privacy Act and HIPAA. Compliance and avoiding penalties often mean getting the help of medical IT support. Cyberattacks have only gone up during the pandemic as attackers have taken advantage of the disruption it has caused. Cybercriminals are often financially motivated and go after personal data that’s a valuable commodity to sell on the Dark Web. Another popular way to gain financially from cyberattacks is through ransomware. Once ransomware is introduced into any part of a network, it spreads rapidly and can quickly take all the IT in an organization down. Medical practices and hospitals are particularly popular targets for ransomware attackers because of the critical nature of their services. Being without access to digital medical records is not an option. If the provider doesn’t have a good backup and recovery system that can be used to restore data, they often will pay the ransom out of desperation. Why are medical practices a target for hackers?
- They store highly sensitive data
- Some may have valuable intellectual property (research, vaccine development, etc.)
- They deliver critical services
- Working in a high-pressure environment makes staff more likely to make IT security mistakes
- Medical practices must maintain public trust
How Networks Are Targeted
Any endpoint device that is connected to the internet has the potential to be hacked and cause a data compromise. In the healthcare field, there are many different types of internet-connected devices, from medical testing equipment to the tablets that doctors and other medical professionals carry around with them each day. For example, according to the Australian government, vulnerabilities have been found in devices like implantable defibrillators and health record-connected hospital beds. Once a vulnerability in the software or firmware for a medical device is found, the manufacturer will issue a security patch. But unfortunately, many of these aren’t installed at the local facility because the staff might fear that an update will cause disruption and take the device out of operation for a period of time.The biggest trigger for the release of ransomware and other types of malware is phishing. Phishing targets human error, which is responsible for most data breaches. Clever phishing emails contain links to malicious sites that can steal credentials or do “drive-by” downloads of malware into a person’s laptop, desktop, or mobile device. This then spreads throughout any other devices connected to the network.
How Does XpressteX Help Protect Your Practice from a Cyberattack?
Protecting your patient and company data from a breach means taking a multi-layered approach that matches all the different methods hackers use to get into a network.
Network Security & Monitoring
If your network isn’t continuously monitored for any signs of unwanted code, then an attacker can easily fly under the radar and get in. We keep a watchful eye on all your network traffic and have automated systems in place designed to catch network intruders and shut them down right away.RACGP ComplianceProtecting patient data and other sensitive information includes enacting a variety of data security protocols. This includes everything from encryption of transmitted files to strict access security and strong passwords.You don’t want to leave something as important as data privacy compliance to chance. We know HIPAA and other data privacy regulations inside and out and can help you put systems in place to ensure compliance.
IT Support & Ongoing Management
Responsive support and can be a trusted advisor for everything from a questionable email to a Wi-Fi problem. Ongoing management of your systems means that you don’t have to worry about patches and updates interfering with your critical mission. Our technicians can plan an orderly installation of software and firmware updates to mitigate any disruption.
Does Your Medical Practice Need an IT Checkup?
Cybersecurity is not something you want to take a “wait and see” approach to. XpressteX can work with your Australian business to review your current systems and make recommendations to ensure your data is secured. Contact us for a free consultation. Call 1300 991 030 or contact us online. One reason that staff make costly cybersecurity mistakes is that they don’t have anyone to call for IT help or advice when they need it. XpressteX provides How do you switch to a flexible cloud environment for most of your processes while maintaining security? We can help you choose the right systems and customise a strong security configuration to ensure you can have the best of both worlds – airtight security with flexible anywhere access of your data.