A computer security checklist is an essential risk management planning tool for your company. If you implement one properly, it can help you protect sensitive information. It can also save you millions in the event of a breach.
Protected health information is extremely valuable on the black market. Hackers may target any healthcare data with a vulnerability. A cyber security assessment checklist is a systematic way to identify vulnerabilities and ensure you remain HIPAA compliant.
So where do you begin?
Your Cyber Security Program Audit Checklist
1. Identify Your Assets
The first step to improving your data security is to pinpoint all the areas where valuable information is stored. Your network servers, cloud storage, and website are common assets of concern.
You should also be aware of any documents with patient information, credit card numbers, or proprietary knowledge.
Network server incidents are the most common cause of medical data breaches. Old technology and outdated infrastructure are often to blame. The best way to protect your assets is to invest in up-to-date hardware and software.
2. Train Your Staff
Human error is another common cause of security breaches. Anyone with on-site or remote access needs detailed trainingto ensure they comply with your computer security checklist.
This training should cover issues such as weak passwords, unsecured connections, and identifying phishing schemes. You should continue to offer training courses to keep the security audit checklist in all of your employee’s minds.
3. Minimize Access
Employees should only have access to the information they need to perform their duties In addition to the security controls on your devices, you should minimize administrative access to a select few.
Employees with administrative access should always have an updated copy of the cyber security controls checklist.
Your workflow management software should be able to track changes and keep a record of anyone that opens the file. This can help you identify vulnerable data after a breach.
4. Update Your Software
While it may seem simple, installing system updates for all your apps and operating systems is one of the most important ways to protect sensitive data.
Updates typically include security patches that address weaknesses. These updates can keep the computers and mobile devices connected to your network secure. If you are running an old app or OS that no longer has support, it’s time to change over to new software.
5. Implement Security Software
No audit checklist is complete without an anti-virus strategy. Security software protects your devices from malware and dangerous spam that can subvert network security.
Choosing the right software for your IT security assessment checklist will require thorough research. It’s best to consult an experienced IT security expert to ensure you get the best protection.
6. Create Network Organization and Layered Security
If all of your information is located in one place, a breach can be devastating.
A network segregation and segmentation strategy can help mitigate the impact of a breach. Network segregation is a way to separate data into smaller networks with controlled access. Meanwhile, network segmentation enforces controls on the communication between these networks.
A layered security strategy uses multiple specialized approaches to threats instead of a catch-all strategy. Firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and anti-virus software can all work together to deflect a variety of attacks and prevent a breach.
Implementing these tactics for your information security assessment checklist is a complex process. An IT security specialist can help you assess your network and create an effective strategy to protect your data.
7. Plan Your Data Backups
Recovering lost information, whether it was lost or damaged, can be a major expense. A routine data backup can help you recover protected health information more efficiently. This is a proactive measure that can respond to data loss from cyber attacks, power outages, or human error.
Your backup server should be in a secure offsite location, and you should use the same security checklist to keep it protected.
8. Maintain Your Information Security Risk Assessment Checklist
Data security is an ongoing process. You should evaluate your vulnerabilities quarterly and update your plan whenever you find a new weakness.
An internal and external vulnerability scan can detect harmful software installed on your devices. It can also evaluate your network segmentation and segregation.
9. Develop a Response Plan
One of the most critical aspects of a cyber security audit checklist is forming a response plan. You’ll need to identify what files were affected, form a plan to recover lost data, and determine how to mitigate the problem in the future.
Protecting your patients is the top priority in these situations. If your cyber security audit reveals a data breach, you need to follow the FTC’s health breach notification guidelines immediately.
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Partner with True North For a Bulletproof IT Risk Assessment Checklist
Our team has completed thousands of health care projects over the past 14 years. We take a hands-on approach to improving your security and efficiency by implementing proven technology for your practice.
We can work with you to develop an information security checklist to protect your data so you can focus on caring for your patients.
Contact us today for your free assessment and give your clients peace of mind while they recover.