Your healthcare business or practice has access to valuable digital information entrusted to you by healthcare consumers, suppliers and employees.
Unfortunately, Cyber threats are on the rise in the healthcare sector. The critical nature of healthcare services, combined with the shift to virtual care and relatively low levels of cyber controls in the sector, makes health organisations a prime target for cybercriminals.
Murray PHN, in partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) promotes the use of safe and secure digital health services and systems to improve health outcomes.
Cyber security threats can impede a healthcare organisation’s ability to provide necessary patient care. These threats come from various internal and external sources, such as:
A hacker impersonates a trustworthy email source to entice users to click on a link. Through this means, hackers can obtain personal information, such as credit card numbers and passwords.
Software created to cause damage to a computer, a network, or another connected system. Malicious software can come in the form of a virus, a Trojan horse, spyware, and adware.
A type of malware that uses encryption to block access systems or threaten to publish user data unless a ransom is paid.
Stolen medical records can be used to conduct fraudulent activities, such as impersonating an individual in an attempt to receive reimbursement for healthcare services.
From security camera sensors to handheld medical devices, billions of devices are connected to each other thanks to the IoT or internet of things. Hackers can take advantage of weak points in these connections to access systems with personal patient data.
Practical steps to protect against cyber attacks
- Build security awareness with the Digital Health Security Awareness eLearning course
- Keep your software up-to-date
- Use strong passwords and implement multi-factor authentication
- Back up your data regularly
- Do not respond to unsolicited phishing emails, texts and calls
- If you fall victim to ransomware, avoid paying the ransom
Training and resources
Learn more about being secure online
- The ADHA provides a variety of cyber security resources for health care providers including podcasts, webinars and training.
- The ADHA has developed a free eLearning course for people who work in healthcare. The course covers key cyber security concepts including password security, phishing scams, network and device security and how to protect privacy and respond to any breaches. To enrol, click here.
- The RACGP have resources on information security that reflect the changing technology environment, consider new security risks and threats and are designed to support you in meeting your legal obligations for information security.
ASD’s Australian Cyber Security Centre is working closely with Medibank Private following the recent incident.
How we can help
Our Digital Health Team can provide resources and referral information to assist practices to understand cyber security. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
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Page last updated 14 November 2022