Is Your Open Wi-Fi A Little Too Open?

By July 19, 2019 Tech News and Tips

Wi-Fi is both a convenience for your staff and an expected perk for your patients. Setting up your wireless for waiting room access is practically a necessity, but so is making sure you’ve got it set up securely.

There Is No Reason To Trade Compliance For Convenience

Wi-Fi is both a convenience for your staff and an expected perk for your patients. Setting up your wireless for waiting room access is practically a necessity, but so is making sure you’ve got it set up securely.

And aside from taking the time to set up a separate guest account that is segregated from your main network, there are a few other considerations your practice needs to take into account – especially where ePHI protection is concerned.

You’ve got a whole host of compliance standards you need to meet, and segregating your wireless traffic is just one component. There are the basics, like ensuring you’ve got antivirus and intrusion protections in place and firm access controls that will keep patients or visitors from getting to your confidential data – accidentally or otherwise. This doesn’t just apply to your wireless network; those same security measures should be in place on all of your computers, and any other devices that connect to your network.

The way you implement and manage passwords is another important factor. It should go without saying that the password for your guest Wi-Fi connection should be different from the password for your internal network. Both of these passwords should be changed every couple of months. You should also be able to control the amount of bandwidth being used, particularly by your patients. This connection is meant for them to be able to check their email or kill time on social media, not download files or stream video.

Finally, there’s your hardware to consider. You should be using an enterprise-based router – meaning one that was designed for business use, not home use. A more sophisticated router is much better equipped to handle your security needs, since that’s the purpose it was built for.

Keeping tabs on router updates and ensuring that the firmware is up to date is critical, as is making sure that any and all software or network vulnerabilities are patched as fixes are made available. Left unchecked and uncorrected, these vulnerabilities are more than capable of opening your practice up to a whole host of cybersecurity issues.

Any IT provider worth their salt will have taken all of this into account when setting up your wireless network, but if you happen to have DIY’d your wireless setup or had help from a local IT contractor, some of what we covered here might have been missed.

But even if you had a professional handle this project for you, it never hurts to double-check that you’ve got all your bases covered.

While you’re here, why not take a minute to run through our quick list of Yes or No questions to get a better idea of where you’re at? And if you find yourself with a No or two, get in touch with our healthcare IT professionals at 509-590-4240 or complete our contact us form!

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