Cyber Security Awareness Month - Tips from the Doctors Technology Office (DTO)

October 5, 2018

cyber%20securityOctober is international Cyber Security Awareness Month. Security breaches are an increasing issue for physician clinics, where EMR systems may involve teams of doctors and MOAs storing and accessing confidential patient information via multiple computers and mobile devices. Since the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) requires physicians to make reasonable security arrangements to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, the Doctors Technology Office (DTO) created the Physician Office IT Security Guide, which complements the BC Physician Privacy Toolkit: A guide for physicians in private practice. The following are some basic IT safeguards that should be implemented at any doctor’s office to protect their patients’ personal information.

IT Security Tips from the DTO

For staff accessing clinic data via computers and/or mobile devices:

  • Create strong passwords (PDF).
  • Set devices to log off and lock after periods of inactivity.
  • Establish safe protocols for transmitting personal information by e-mail, fax, etc.
  • Perform regular system backups.

Clinic safeguards that may require IT support:

  • Secure wireless networks (PDF).
  • Update firmware, operating systems, and software security patches.
  • Encrypt all clinic data on computers and mobile devices.
  • Install firewalls and anti-malware programs.
  • Restrict cookies.
  • Install data leakage/data loss prevention systems.

For a complete list of cyber security tips and detailed information for physicians, including the DTO’s Physician Office Security Workshop series, visit the Doctors Technology Office website.