The History

A trip into any card store or venture onto social media will alert or remind you that there is a holiday for nearly everything.  Who got to decide that April 23rd was National Talk Like Shakespeare Day? Or that Squirrel Appreciation Day would fall on January 21st? Some of them might make you roll your eyes wondering why do we need to mark the last Friday of every April as National Hairball Awareness Day? But there is one marked event that we all need to participate in – the entire month of October which is dedicated to cybersecurity. Now that’s a topic worthy of a holiday!

Created by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance in October of 2004, Cybersecurity Awareness Month was launched to help Americans be safe in the rapidly growing age of the Internet. Since its inception, the month has only grown more important as our lives become increasingly digitized. Many high-ranking US officials have been a part of the event including former DHS Secretaries and former Presidents.  HIPAA Secure Now is one of many industry participants taking this month to educate our community on the importance of cybersecurity. College campuses, non-profits, banks, and other organizations frequently join in on the fun as well.

Focus This Month

This October, we encourage you to remind your patients as well as employees of how critical smart cybersecurity practices are in all aspects of their lives, but especially when it comes to healthcare.  As one of the most targeted industries, the risk of exposure is even greater.  Protected health information (PHI) is valuable on the dark web and our actions in our private world can impact the risk of exposure in our professional world as well.  One of the biggest areas of confusion lies in understanding the difference between having HIPAA compliance and a strong cybersecurity posture.   HIPAA was created to protect and oversee the rights and access of patient information, and while it includes some components, it is not a cybersecurity program.

You can follow along with our 31 days of cybersecurity tips throughout October on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages for quick and easy-to-understand ways that you can improve your cybersecurity!

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