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7 Essential Security Practices Every Healthcare Website Must Follow in 2023

Essential Security Practices Every Healthcare Website

7 Essential Security Practices Every Healthcare Website Must Follow in 2023

Cybersecurity is crucial in the healthcare industry as it holds a substantial amount of patient and healthcare data.  A breach in their security can result in significant losses to the entire healthcare industry. 

Recently, a Kentucky hospital reported a severe misconfiguration, and PHI data amounting to 16,590 people was on the verge of theft.  This should alarm all private clinics that nobody is safe from the wrath of cybercriminals. 

So, how can healthcare specialists maintain medical website security in today’s world? We decided to go over seven points to help you maintain optimum security for your healthcare website.  

So, let’s take a look:

Follow HIPAA guidelines

According to HIPAA, all PHI or Protected Healthcare Information should be shared online only in an encrypted format. 

They also emphasize the safety of transactions online. For example, if a hospital accepts bill payment online, they must adhere to PCI or Payment Card Industry guidelines for safe online transactions. 

To follow HIPAA’s guidelines, websites should have an SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate. 

An SSL certificate can encrypt data transfer between patients and healthcare professionals and passes it over a secure network so that no cybercriminal can intercept it. 

Customers’ form details, bank details, and personal information are all shared over a secured network. 

Moreover, SSL also helps comply with PCI/DSS guidelines. It creates a secure passage for accepting payments online. 

SSL also includes HTTPS that displays a secure padlock ahead of the website’s URL. This imbibes customers’ trust regarding their confidential data. 

Search engines like Google also recognize SSL as an integral factor for search rankings. 

Thus, healthcare professionals need to install an SSL certificate to attain higher search rankings even for the promotion of healthcare websites. You can get in touch with various reliable SSL certificate resellers or Certificate Authorities and invest in a cost-effective, cheap SSL certificate for securing your medical website connection without exceeding your budget limitations. 

Secure administrative accounts

The administration is at the helm of the entire hospital website. Therefore, the onus of all transactions, patient accounts management, healthcare worker records, and smooth functioning of the entire hospital lies on the admin accounts. 

So, after choosing the right SSL certificate providers, it is now time for a bit of internal cleaning. 

Ensure that all inactive patient and worker accounts are deleted as they can be a medium for a data breach. 

Also, do not let any third party (except top-level management) access admin accounts and modify them. 

Keep a check on login attempts as well. 

Update your CMS platform

Amidst managing patient information and submitting COVID-related updates with the government, websites tend to forget to upgrade their software. 

CMS platforms invest a huge amount of time and money in identifying and fixing potential loopholes in their software, and lagging in website upgradation can prove to be catastrophic for the website. 

Updates generally contain patches and bug fixes that can be a medium for a cybercriminal to attack your website. 

Thus, it would help if you never miss out on updates. Moreover, if your platform permits, you can consider switching on the automatic updates. 

Ensure that your passwords are strong

While talking about the administration. We must not forget the first line of defence that protects it. 

Passwords can play a huge factor in the make-or-break of security. Secure passwords generally comprise 12 characters (both upper and lower case), numbers, special symbols, and a 2-factor authentication system.  

If you wonder what 2-factor authentication is all about, let us tell you that it is a security technology that adds an extra layer of protection to the login. 

Every time a person wishes to log in, they must compulsively enter a 4/6-digit PIN sent on their registered mobile number or email address. 

In this way, you can protect your passwords effectively. 

You must have support systems.

Since healthcare websites are used around the clock, you cannot be complacent with their security. You should consider using dark web monitoring tools to identify and protect leaked data before an impending threat.

You must have a tie-up with a cybersecurity team or harbour an in-house team that can help create a backup system just in case a need arises. 

Since medical websites have critical patient data such as CT scans, MRI scans, etc., you need that team watching your back 24×7, 365 days a year so that doctors and patients do not have to face any inconvenience during the treatment process. 

Create cloud-based scalability

We all know how the healthcare industry was overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; hospitals were full, and websites were down. 

Given that this can happen at any moment, healthcare websites need to scale the magnitude of traffic they are incurring and create systems and processes like cloud-based auto scalability that can assist them in keeping the website going. 

Healthcare websites experiencing downtime can be catastrophic for both the patients and the staff. Therefore, it is best to move from a hardware system to a cloud-based system that does not overwhelm the websites. 

Create backup systems

To switch to the cloud entirely, your website may need some time. In the meantime, you can rely on data backups if the website encounters a problem. 

Backups can let the health workers continue treating patients until the websites become fully functional again. However, even a 10-second of downtime can put someone’s life in danger. 

So, backup your data on the cloud so that every system in the hospital can have access to critical patient information. 

Back up every day, if possible so that you can be prepared for the worst. 

Final Thoughts

The onus of saving humanity always lies in the healthcare industry. If it weren’t for them, humankind would not create life-saving drugs and repel deadly diseases.  

But cybercriminals do not seem to care for anything other than stealing data and selling it on the dark web. Healthcare websites have reported data breaches throughout the pandemic, which is not a healthy sign for the industry. 

However, with the advent of security technologies like SSL certificates, 2-factor authentication, and firewalls, medical websites are guaranteed some level of protection. 

So, if you have a medical website, do not forget to install an SSL certificate to keep it protected. Also, follow these seven tips given above to turn your medical website into an unbreachable fortress. 

Importance of regular doctor consultations & health checkups

7 Essential Security Practices Every Healthcare Website Must Follow in 2023