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There are two mindsets a person can have at the end of a year: you can reflect back on the events that have passed, or you can look ahead to a new year and new start. For the InstaMed Security Corner, we’ve done both. If you want to reflect on 2016, check out our Security Year in Review. If you’re eager for a fresh start in 2017, here’s a list of New Year’s resolutions for healthcare payment security.

Lose Weight

Every year, “lose weight” is usually the number one New Year’s resolution. Seeing an opportunity for a fresh start, many of us vow to shed some extra pounds to get healthy and happy. Why not apply the same goal to security at your organization? “Lose weight” by removing unnecessary data from your network. The less data you store, the less information that is vulnerable to security breaches and theft, improving the overall health of your systems. Before you begin on your 2017 data cleanse, make sure you are following data disposal best practices.

Much like those stubborn love handles, you will have some data that you cannot lose. Make sure you control or restrict access to this data. You should also make sure you are following your organization’s data retention policy.

Get Organized

To get organized in your personal life, you might download an app that helps you keep track of your tasks. Personally, I love Google Keep. When it comes to security, a great way to get organized for 2017 is to change your passwords. As a rule, you should update passwords every 90 days as required by the PCI Council to reduce the probability that someone will be able to guess it or protect your systems from someone who was able to get a hand on one of your older passwords. For the same reasons, you should use different passwords across websites. This is a resolution you can apply to your personal life as well. Update and differentiate your passwords for your social media accounts, emails, bank accounts, etc.

At the start of every new year, I check the batteries in the smoke detectors in my home and review the emergency escape route with my family. If you don’t do this yourself, I definitely recommend it. You can also resolve to do the same at your healthcare organization. Review and test your disaster recovery and business continuity plans so you and your staff are prepared for anything.

Learn a New Hobby

Ever since I graduated from law school, I’ve been looking for ways to continue my education, in a variety categories. A few years ago, I resolved to read at least one book a month. I’m happy to say this was a successful resolution and I’ve read a lot of interesting books over the years. If you’re thinking of making a similar resolution in 2017, here are a few of my favorites to get you started: The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Thinking Fast and Slow and Before The Fall.

It’s always good to try something new. Try something new in your healthcare payments process, too. If you were looking into researching some new payment technology in 2016, but never got around to it, 2017 is your opportunity to try again. If you need a good place to start, why don’t you learn about ways digital wallets, tokenization and Apple pay can benefit healthcare organizations?

Spend More Time With Family and Friends

Hopefully this is on your list of resolutions for 2017 (if you want it to be). Resolve to spend more time with your healthcare payment security family, too. Retrain staff on ways to secure and protect patient and payment data. Remind them to update their work passwords, install system updates and always be on the lookout for suspicious emails from unknown senders.

Enjoy Life to the Fullest

For me, this means making time to read, watching Green Bay Packers football and eating out at my favorite restaurants. For healthcare payment security, it means making sure your security software is up-to-date and functioning properly, so you and your staff can focus on administering healthcare to your patients. Always review your system alerts to make sure you aren’t seeing alert fatigue and that you are paying attention to the right kind of alerts. If you see any red flags, contact support immediately to resolve any potential issues.

Read More

Resolve to make 2017 the year of learning about payment security in healthcare! We have plenty of great resources to help you get started. Check out the links below and get reading!

Security vs. Encryption and What Do All Those Acronyms Mean?

EMV: Chipping Away at Fraud One Year After the Liability Shift

What is Tokenization and Why Should Providers Care?

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