As with most other facets of life, the healthcare industry has been transformed over the last fifteen to twenty years, through the use of technology. As providers of care, almost all aspects of our work involve the use of technology in one way or another. From scheduling patients, to documenting the encounter, to interpreting images and test results, prescribing medication, following up on care, and communicating with the patient. In our interactions with patients and other members of their healthcare teams, we collect vast amounts of Protected Health Information (PHI), exchange it with other institutions, and do it all primarily through the internet. It is not surprising that healthcare is a target of bad actors who use innovative technologies to break into our servers, and then trick us into revealing the credentials to our systems.
As a provider of health services, Spectrum Healthcare Partners has a duty to protect the integrity of the information of our patients. Spectrum’s IT department is constantly working on improving the cybersecurity posture of the organization by implementing solutions such as multi-factor authentication, spam and phish filters, servers and device encryption, enhanced security between our network and the points of entry to the internet, and many others. However, the most effective way to secure our company and personal technology assets is by being vigilant and aware of suspicious activity.
Per United States Cybersecurity Magazine, some things that we can all do to stay vigilant against cyber-attacks include:
- Have good password habits – use complex passwords, do not use the same password for all your online accounts, and change your passwords regularly. Ideally, get a good password manager.
- Have good e-mail habits – use a secure e-mail account with spam filters, and do not click on links in e-mails from senders that you do not recognize.
- Use antivirus software.
- Backup your data.
- Regularly clear the browsing history and cookies.
- Use VPNs and firewalls on your devices, particularly when connecting to public Wi-Fi such as in airports and hotels.
- Always log off from sites when you are done.
If you have any questions regarding cybersecurity, please reach out to the Spectrum IT Service Desk at 207-482-7818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.