Protecting Against Malware through HIPAA Compliance

Sep 05 2018

Doctors using computer whiles theirs colleagues looking at Xray in medical office

Healthcare organizations are required to follow HIPAA compliance. While this may seem like a pain for more institutions, it is a good way to protect against cyberattacks. The regulations enforce aspects that protect against malware, which is your best defense against ransomware. The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to malware attacks because patient data is at risk of being compromised. Take a look at the following HIPAA guidelines that help combat cyber attacks. 

Antivirus Protection

Patient data is the most important data to protect within the healthcare system. In order to detect and block attacks, use antivirus software and firewalls to secure endpoints. Your security systems should constantly be running and checked on a daily or weekly basis. 

Software Updates 

Keep your systems up to date. Operating systems, software, and applications should be updated in order to ensure that bugs are fixed. Using old software allows hackers to take advantage of weak points in outdated systems. It's worth the few minutes it takes to update software to avoid timely and costly attacks in the future. 

Disaster Response Plans 

In the case of an attack, HIPAA compliance requires organizations to have strategies in place. This mitigates the damage from the attack. Encryption is essential when dealing with patient data. It is also important to have a cloud backup and plan in place to restore files while continuing operations. 

Risk Analysis & Testing

After your network and security plans are set up, it is important to test them to identify weak points. This analysis will give you a better understanding of the strength of your system. Security tests allow you to know if your defenses are doing their job to prevent various attacks. 

Employee awareness

Regardless of all technology in place, employee awareness is one of the most important aspects of cyber security. Staff should understand best practices for setting passwords and detecting red flags. A basic employee education course on cyber attacks can be more effective than all the best technology. 

HIPAA requirements help companies mitigate cyber risks. Following these tips, whether you are required to or not, will help establish a solid security framework. For more assistance with HIPAA compliance or malware protection, speak with a CPI representative. 


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