Pharmacists are once again being warned of malicious software threats. Here are 10 tips from Fred IT to develop a secure system in your pharmacy
Pharmacy regulators have recently reiterated warnings over reports of pharmacies being targeted by ransomware, a type of malicious software that handicaps computer functionality.
Here are 10 tips from Fred IT Group as their key requirements for a secure IT system
- Up to date anti-virus software on all computers regardless of whether they connect to the internet, all computers on your network are vulnerable.
- Working backups in place for all critical data, both local and offsite is essential. Regular test restores are required to make sure your data is recoverable when needed.
- Up to date software (many can check for updates automatically which contain important security patches).
- All hardware running the latest and most secure software available.
- A business grade Internet service with in-built virus protection, firewalls and a private IP address
- A staff member assigned the responsibility for your IT and security. This includes looking after backups, software updates and managing the relationship with your external IT provider.
- Clear policies for staff using your pharmacy computers, ensuring they understand how they are to use email, the internet and online resources in the pharmacy and importantly, what to do and who to call in the case of a security breach.
- Never downloading anything unless you are certain it is from a reputable source.
- If remotely accessing the pharmacy system, using complex passwords that are regularly changed. Strong passwords consist of 8 characters or more; upper and lower case; letters, numbers and special characters.
- Review of the method by which you remotely access your system to ensure it is the most secure.
Speaking in relation to the Ransomware threats, Andrew McManus, general manager operations, for Fred IT Group told AJP:
“One more important point is having up to date operating software (OS) on your PC’s. There are a large number of pharmacies still running XP. Microsoft no longer support this OS and it is extremely venerable to attacks.
We strongly recommend upgrading to Windows 10 Professional and ensuring the OS is patched. Most (I’d say all) of the PC’s running XP are well over 5 years old and so a new PC is the best option which will come with Windows 10 Professional (provided that is specified)”.