3 Common Cybersecurity Mistakes Healthcare Providers Make

When your phone pings with a news alert and you see that another cyber scam has sent a company's stock plummeting, you're grateful that you don't work in that field. As the proprietor of a healthcare clinic, you don't think that a cybercriminal would see much use in attempting to crack your clinic's servers.

But the truth of it is, the healthcare industry is the cybercriminal's number one target.

As reported in May 2016, the healthcare industry was hit with a cost of over $6 billion in cyber breaches. The exorbitant cost of these breaches is a direct result of 90 percent of healthcare organizations coming under fire by a cyberattack.

Why is such a significant number (almost all!) of healthcare organizations getting hacked? Clearly, cybersecurity in healthcare is sorely lacking.

To protect your patients, staff and your clinic from succumbing to a cyberattack, make sure that you're not making one of these three common mistakes. If you recognize your own cyber behavior below, your server might already be infected.

False belief that your health organization is too small to target. With media stories covering the massive cyberattacks on the likes of Target, LinkedIn and Yahoo, small business and healthcare organization owners are given a false sense of safety: why would a cybercriminal go after their business/organization? What could the cybercriminal possibly gain? It's thinking like this that has landed healthcare providers in hot water. Cyberattacks on healthcare providers grew by 63 percent in 2016. The credit firm Experian predicts that this percentage will rise in 2017. Numbers don't lie: it's only a matter of time before your clinic is caught in a cybercriminal's crosshairs.

Not understanding how the organization's electronic data is stored. The cybersecurity firm Trustwave points out another mistake healthcare organizations make: the staff doesn't have an understanding of how the data is stored or who has access. Because this is unknown, your staff could accidentally share private information about patients with someone who should not have access to such information. Also, if you do not have an understanding of how your data is stored, you're more likely to miss a cybercriminal lurking on your system.

Not updating software security updates. Clicking "update" when an update reminder pops up on the computer screen feels like an annoyingly long process. The update demands that you close out of your current applications. Once you do that, the software update will restart the computer after the new update's download. This seemingly hours-long process usually takes about ten minutes, but taking ten minutes out of a workday can seem like a waste of time-it isn't.

Software updates are important to install because they have addressed the bugs and faulty code that a potential cybercriminal could use against you to illegally access your healthcare clinic's private data. By choosing to hit "ignore" on a software update, you are essentially inviting cybercriminals to sit at your reception desk and take a gander at patient information.

If you wouldn't let a random stranger do this in real life, why allow it to happen virtually?

To protect your clinic, patients and staff, invest in a cyber insurance plan with CyberPolicy. And while you're at it, make sure to stop by CoverHound too to find a small business insurance package that'll cover what you can't.

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