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What Every Physician Needs to Know: Cyber Security Best Practices

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You play an important role in keeping your organization’s sensitive information secure. Make a habit of following these best practices to reduce the risk of a breach of sensitive information. Keep this list handy for future reference.

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What Every Physician Needs to Know: Cyber Security Best Practices

  1. 1. What every physician needs to know: cyber security best practices
  2. 2. 1 manage your passwords • Use strong passwords - mix 8 or more upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. • Don’t use the same password for every account. • Don’t share your passwords with others. • Have a lot of passwords? Use a password manager application to create and store them. • Don’t email or text your passwords. If you must share them, do it in person or over the phone.
  3. 3. 2 maintain your software • Remove applications you no longer need. • Watch for and respond to security update notices. Apply them immediately. These include your operating system (e.g. Windows 7 updates), web browsers (e.g. IE, Firefox, Chrome), and helper programs used to run applications and read/play files (e.g. Java, Adobe PDF Reader, Flash, QuickTime). • Keep your anti-virus program updated, configured properly, and running. • Encrypt data according to your organizations policies.
  4. 4. guard against phishing attacks • Carefully scrutinize links and attachments in emails before you click or open. • Use bookmarks to safely return to sites you visit frequently. Use browser functions that warn of sites with poor reputations. • Be wary of all outside requests for sensitive information; whether by e-mail, phone or text message. • Independently verify the identity and authority of any requester before disclosing sensitive information, and then only if there is a legitimate business need. 3
  5. 5. keep sensitive information physically secure • Lock documents away when not using them. • Shield information from view when others are near. • Lock your PC screen and keyboard when away from your desk (Windows key + L on a device running Microsoft Windows). • Keep mobile devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets, USB sticks, etc.) either within your sight, or locked up at all times. • Destroy sensitive information (hard copy and electronic) when no longer needed. 4
  6. 6. avoid unsecure networks outside the office • Don’t connect to the office from public Wi-Fi networks; use your phone’s cellular data plan instead. • If you connect while traveling or work from home, have your IT department set you up properly with secure remote access. 5
  7. 7. if you suspect a breach • Do not panic. Decisions made within the first 72 hours of a data breach are critical, and mistakes can be costly with lasting effects on your practice. • Do not turn off or reboot any systems. Do not allow anyone to take any action on affected systems. • Record critical facts about the incident (date and time of incident, who discovered, what happened). • Report the suspected data breach to the designated person in your organization. 6
  8. 8. protection for a new era of medicine about tmlt: With more than 17,500 physicians in its care, Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) provides malpractice insurance and related products to physicians. Our purpose is to make a positive impact on the quality of health care for patients by educating, protecting, and defending physicians. www.tmlt.org Find us on: 7

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