10 cybersecurity tips for clinicians working from home during the pandemic 

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The American Medical Association and American Hospital Association have crafted guidelines for healthcare employees to follow to ensure proper cybersecurity hygiene when working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are 10 listed by tech device:

Personal computer: 

1. Be wary of common email phishing and ransomware threats, which have spiked as hackers have increasingly tried to access medical data. 

2. Use a virtual private network and/or cloud-based services to securely connect to office computer programs, including the practice management system and EHR. 

3. Implement multifactor authentication for all personal and business accounts, and enable lockout features for multiple incorrect login attempts. 

Phone or tablet: 

4. Ensure iPhones, iPads and Android devices are using the most up-to-date version of operating system software because the updates often address security vulnerabilities. 

5. Protect your home's wireless network with a strong password, such as using a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters and symbols. 

6. Enable encryption on devices and apps, if possible. This feature can often be found in the device or app's settings. 

7. Check with the practice's EHR vendor to ensure you download the correct EHR and telemedicine apps for your environment. 

Medical device: 

8. Develop a formal coordination and communication process between clinical, biomedical engineering and information security teams for acquisition, maintenance and proper use of medical devices and biomedical tech. 

9. Prioritize the installation of updates and cyber vulnerability patches of network-connected and network-capable ventilators and other critical life support devices, and designate someone to be responsible for maintaining patches. 

10. Remove unnecessary patient information stored on medical devices. Many devices can store large quantities of data that may not be purged after the data is transferred to the EHR. Cybercriminals recognize these devices as an easier target to steal patient information from than the EHR. 

Click here to view the full report. 

 

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