Security Awareness Training for Healthcare

Healthcare institutions have had significant advancements in medicine, healthcare practices and technology. With this forward progression in the way they operate, new threats have emerged. Cyber security is now a key focus for healthcare institutions and security awareness training for healthcare organisations is an important part of that strategy as they strive to keep customers information confidential, secure and accessible.

Healthcare institutions are a valuable target for cybercriminals

Institutions such as hospitals and private medical centres are often seen as high value targets by cyber criminals, as they work with highly confidential information. As these organisations adopt new ways of working and collaborating online, their exposure to cybercrime increases.

For healthcare professionals, security awareness training is a critical step and should be one of the first in the journey to ultimately transform the way a collective group looks at cyber security. Its primary focus is to reduce the likelihood of an attack as opposed to how to react after an attack. Prevention and awareness, like in medicine, is a key strategy and can be exponentially more cost effective than restoring systems and dealing with reputational damage in the event of an attack.

The goal of cyber security is to enable employees to adopt digital technologies in a safe and secure way. Depending on an organisations priorities, the following principles may apply.

What can healthcare institutions do to stay safe?

A secure healthcare institution, with a robust cyber security culture, where staff are aware and accountable, utilise platforms that provide a unique blend of attack simulation and security awareness training to train staff. These platforms are designed to replicate real-world threats and identify staff who are at risk by tracking statistics such as who clicked on phishing links and who entered their credentials into phishing websites. When vulnerable staff are identified, they’re assigned immediate training designed to provide on-the-spot learning that addresses the exact simulated attack they fell victim to. The goal of platforms such as these are to lower the overall phish click risk that an institution faces.

Regardless of the size of an institution, training should begin by teaching and adopting the basics. This includes using strong authentication methods, keeping devices up to date and practicing safe internet browsing.
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Using strong and unique passwords

Strong passwords are ones that a human or computer would not easily guess. Avoid using obvious passwords like sequential numbers or lazy passwords such as "password" or "qwerty". These are common passwords which are easily cracked, guessed or brute-forced.

It’s also important to use unique passwords for each applications or service in-use. If one application is compromised, using the same password across multiple accounts can put them all at risk. A practical solution to this is to implement a password manager or a single-sign-on solution.

Harvard University have created a website that provides guidelines for creating and managing strong passwords.

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Keeping devices up to date

It’s important for individuals to keep their devices up-to-date and apply the latest security patches to safeguard devices against cyber threats.

Cyber criminals are continuously searching for new vulnerabilities in software and when they discover one, it's often shared amongst hacking and criminal organisations. These exploits are then used to gain access to unsuspecting victims’ devices. On the reverse, software vendors are constantly at work patching these vulnerabilities. By keeping software up-to-date and applying the latest security patches, the likelihood of vulnerability exploitation, is drastically reduced.

Check out the Training Course Library offered by CanIPhish, which includes a specialised course on device security.
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Using caution online

It’s important to stay vigilant while browsing online. Stay aware of your surroundings and if a website appears to be suspicious, it’s best to trust your gut and leave the website. It’s crucial to be cautious and aware of phishing attempts when using email and avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails. Use common sense: avoid sharing information, think before you act, and always be on the lookout for potential scams.

CanIPhish uses advanced simulated phishing techniques and security awareness training, to educate healthcare professionals.

Think you can spot a phish? Take a look at the Email Phishing Library provided by CanIPhish.

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