Clinic Cybersecurity: A message from the Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC

January 31, 2020

In our increasingly connected world, it has never been more imperative to protect the privacy of patient data and to reinforce our clinical and business systems against cyberattacks.

Security threats are increasing both in frequency and sophistication, and no organization is immune to attack. A cyberattack to your local clinical system can quickly spread to other organizations via connected networks and devices.

We need to remain ever vigilant by ensuring that the following privacy and security best practices and processes are in place:

  • CybersecurityComputers, mobile devices, and software are regularly updated with security patches;
  • Increasing staff awareness about identifying suspicious emails (known as ‘phishing’). It is important NOT TO open suspicious emails, but if opened, NOT TO click on any attachments/links;
  • Using strong and unique passwords for each user and system, and implementing a policy to change these regularly;
  • Ensuring that critical data is backed-up and a defined process is in place to test and restore backups in case of a breach;
  • Recruiting a local IT Service Provider who can help to ensure that your systems, firewalls, and protection; networks are up-to-date with enhanced 
  • Responding quickly to a cyberattack to minimize the impact to your patients and practice; 
  • Increasing physician and staff education on security best practices using DTO’s free online cybersecurity education course and building a stronger culture of security in clinical practice.

We are asking you to make security and protecting your patients’ information a priority in 2020. Doctors Technology Office (DTO) can provide direct support to clinics to implement best practices and safeguards against cybersecurity threats and breaches.
Please visit the Doctors Technology Office website for more resources, email or call 1-800-665-2262 for any questions or direct support.