The NHS is facing unprecedented levels of cybercrime and the trend is only set to continue. We provide some practical steps so that NHS IT departments can take proactive steps to safeguard its IT estate.
One: Educate – know the risks
Cybercrime is constantly evolving and more sophisticated methods are being used to cripple organisations or steal data. Understanding what your organisation may face is the most powerful tool to ensure you are protected.
Two: Know your weak spots
Once you have an understanding about the external threats you face, you need to look at your internal vulnerabilities. In-depth and regular assessment of IT weaknesses will ensure better security is in place.
Three: Don’t limit technology advantages
The benefits of having mobile devices and a vast array of technology in a hospital, outweighs the risks. All devices connected to the network need to be accessed and secure, but do not lock down and limit your IT resources so much that it impacts on the delivery of patient care.
Four: Don’t over secure
Too much security might not sound like a bad thing, but it can have a real impact to those requiring the system to do their job. Security should be easy to use and not add cumbersome or overly complex procedures.
Five: Educate the workforce
Ensure that the staff understand why they are asked to follow IT security procedures and rules. Compliance is much higher when you have employees who are motivated to help ensure you are protected. Regular training is also essential to keep their IT protection responsibilities front of mind.
Six: Method to report issues
Employees are one of your biggest assets to quickly identify and minimise cybercrime threats. By creating a clearly communicated method of reporting, suspicious activity or IT concerns can be speedily reported and addressed.
Seven: Create an open culture
Providing confidence to employees that it is ok to report issues without the risk of repercussion is an important part of building a robust cyber defence. Ensure employees feel that they work in an open and sharing working environment.
Eight: Robust access control
Employees are your greatest protection, but they are also your biggest threat. Access to systems should be carefully managed to ensure that users only have access to the right systems and that leavers are denied access as soon as they leave.
Nine: Develop a continuous cybercrime strategy
Cyber security is not a one off, annual review or ad-hoc activity. Cyber criminals are a big threat to business activity and data. An ongoing IT programme is essential to limit cyber exposure.
Ten: Get expert support
The NHS IT environment is a large and complex environment and the risks are significant. Seek expert advice and choose the right step to maximise cyber security.
BDS Solutions works in partnership with NHS organisations across the UK to enhance the security protection of vital IT infrastructure. Utilising existing technologies alongside collaborative solutions, BDS Solutions, with knowledge of the complexities of the NHS, delivers a robust security solution. Talk to one of our expert team today.