Many people are inseparable from their smartphones and computers, constantly using them to text, email and browse the Internet. Doctors and their staff are no exception, and that creates serious potential problems since the cause of most data breaches is attributed to human error using a connected device.

Healthcare offices that use cloud-based solutions are especially at risk since the systems require a constant Internet connection, and the Internet is the conduit for ransomware and malware designed to access and steal patient data.

Security experts are predicting for 2017 the destruction of critical infrastucture and increased data theft that leverage glaring security holes created by Internet of Things (IoT) and increasing Distributed Delay of Services (DDoS) attacks like those that brought down the Dyn Domain Name System and high-profile Web domains across the U.S. in 2016.

Practice leaders can and should train staff to avoid “phishing” schemes, but even tech-savvy corporations and government agencies with huge cybersecurity budgets fall victim to data theft. And sophisticated crimefighting organizations like the FBI are helpless to stop it.

Keeping cybercriminals at bay is a serious challenge, but practices must find a way to secure data because patients are counting on them. Keeping personal and health information safe is critically important from both a patient trust and practice success standpoint.

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