If you are in the medical field, you must consider cybersecurity as a top priority, especially with laws such as HIPAA and ECPA. Inadequate security measures result in a greater risk of disaster as malware and phishing attacks dramatically increase every year. In their “Guidelines for Cybersecurity and Privacy” document, Microsoft states, “it will take an average of 80 days (11 weeks) to fully recover after detection of a cyber intrusion.


To ensure your medical practice is safe from cyber threats, take initiative as soon as possible. Below is a list of necessary actions to enhance your medical business’s cybersecurity.

Develop a disaster recovery plan.

A disaster recovery plan is defined as “a documented, structured approach with instructions for responding to unplanned incidents.” Get together with seasoned IT professionals to construct a reliable backup and recovery strategy. Understand your backup’s capabilities and know what to do when an interruption or security breach occurs.


 Conduct Security Awareness Training for all employees.

It is imperative that medical organizations formally train their employees on cybersecurity to dramatically reduce the risk of cyber threats. The training program should cover a variety of subjects such as phishing, password security, desktop security, and wireless networks. Educating employees on policies and procedures may also promote a safer network and protect patient information.


Test and verify existing security measures.

To avoid putting patient privacy at risk, periodically test the effectiveness of your security measures. For example, you can check how well your hospital or clinic staff knows security policies and procedures by administering a quiz. You need to at least conduct annual network assessments to detect any weak points in your network infrastructure.


Verify your policies and procedures regularly and then revise as required.

HIPAA and other data protection laws may determine what security measures your medical business must take. Scope out the compliance landscape and document your IT policies and procedures.


Use a layered approach towards privacy and security.

In addition to Security Awareness Training and adhering to compliance laws, you may want to consider business class next-generation firewall and next-generation antivirus. These tools place restrictions on employees who use their computers for patient care and work duties.


Take inventory and document all IT information.

Documenting your medical clinic’s software and hardware inventory is an additional tool to enhance cybersecurity. With proper documentation, your business may pinpoint problem areas and better recover from network failure or interruption.


Update network components regularly.

Keep your clinic’s product licenses and subscriptions up-to-date. This sustains smooth operations and lessens the likelihood of a security lapse, which may result in a threat or attack.

When considering the potential compromise of patient privacy, you can never be too careful. Taking these steps to optimize your medical practice’s cybersecurity may dramatically safeguard your IT network and, thus, all patient information.