With the rise of ransomware and data breaches in the medical industry, there has never been a better time to learn about the best ways to ensure your financial and patient data stays safe.

Calculate risk

Commonly, there are two forms of digital security threats that a medical practice can face. Firstly, there are intentional threats, such as the deliberate and malicious theft of patient data, bank details or intellectual property. There are also unintentional threats such as when an employee loses their device or phone. It is essential to protect against both types of threat.

Understand your data

Firstly, examine all of the data you hold, financial records, patient information and supplier details. Assess how sensitive each type of data is to your practice, record where it is stored and evaluate how likely you are to suffer data loss or leaks to hackers and malware.

Your confidential data should receive the most attention such as financial data and patient records. By law, you must protect your data, alongside other legal obligations outlined by the Australian Government in regard to the Privacy Act. You should keep a detailed record of where your data is stored, how often it is accessed and by whom. From there you can accurately identify the risks in your practice’s data management protocol.

Protect your data

In order to safeguard your data, you will need to have your data securely backed up and a disaster recovery plan in place. By storing your data safely in a cloud backup, even if your network is compromised, you will be able to access all of your files without the threat of ransomware or deletion.

Select security solutions that can automatically update and patch to protect against the latest threats. As malware is constantly developing, you are only as safe as your latest update. Consider working with a security and backup specialist who understands your organisation’s unique needs, and comes with a proven history of defending against multiple threats.

Store Data Safely

Look closely at where your data is stored. It is best to store it in a safe, secure place in the cloud so that employees can easily access information wherever they are. It is preferred to have your data backed up in an Australian based data centre.

Control data use

Make sure every employee only has access to the data they need to minimise the chance of anyone accidentally changing or deleting things they shouldn’t. Windows and many customer-relationship management systems allow you to grant different users different levels of access. Often practices will have administration rights available to every employee which would allow anyone to make any changes they like.

Data is an asset that is critical for the running of your practice. Having both backup and disaster recovery systems in place ensures you are never locked out of your computers.