Stay Safe For National Cybersecurity Month

national cybersecurity month

The health care industry is awash with privacy concerns, protected health information, and the ever-constant threat of a data breach. In early 2015, Anthem Inc., one of the nation’s biggest health insurance companies, experienced a major data breach as the result of a massive cyber-attack. More than 78 million consumers were affected, according to most reports.

One way we can shore up our defenses against such attacks is through increased awareness. 2015 marks the fifth year for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, marked each year in October. The stated goal is to provide information to both companies and individuals about the threat of data breaches, and to create better responses when a breach does occur.

GOAL:  INCREASE SECURITY, WEEK-BY-WEEK

Each week of October represents an educational opportunity to tackle specific challenges in securing your private information and data.

  1. Week one focuses on identifying the shared responsibility of multiple parties in cybersecurity. For example, patients have a responsibility to ensure secured Internet connections when accessing data at home. Alternately, medical providers must ensure servers maintain stringent security features and firewalls to prevent possible breaches.
  2. Week two involves recognizing how businesses and employees may be exposed to potential data breaches.
  3. Week three focuses on the mobile aspect of today’s data-driven world. Since patients may access information from virtually anywhere, health care providers must take a stronger role in monitoring their servers for potential threats.
  4. Week four continues the focus of week three by increasing cybersecurity awareness as more mobile devices become connected to the Internet. Additionally, participants in programs, such as those at StaySafeOnline, can learn about new technologies and means of keeping information confidential and secure.
  5. Week five re-emphasizes the need to continue improving and recognizing the value of cybersecurity measures and security professionals in all sectors of the economy.

MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS GET INVOLVED

Health care settings and providers face more than public backlash for data breaches. In some cases, the breaches may lead to fines, penalties and other forms of punishments due to privacy violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 2015 still has three months for hackers to attack and cause chaos; health care organizations should take full advantage of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s available resources.

By taking action before an event occurs, the potential fallout from a breach can be lessened, benefitting patients, providers and staff in medical settings alike. Professionals with degrees in Health Information Management will be able to help alleviate the impact of cyber-attacks in the future.

To find out more about Cybersecurity and how you can help protect patient data through the Health Information Management program, contact Concorde Career College.

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