This week I’m going to focus on something other than our Covid response and the Pandemic – not because this is not important or because I’m not aware of the impacts on Team ASPH or the huge effort and continuing hard work of everyone, but because, despite all we do, we have to pay attention to other important aspects of work together and there is nothing more important than safety – safety for patients and the team.
One of the things I have come to understand is a key safety challenge for us as a provider of healthcare and employer in the 21st century is cyber security.
I have learned that much like other aspects of safety people are really important and “human factors” is a big cause of cyber security breaches and for us that is a patient and team safety issue and we need to address it with the same level of enthusiasm and rigour.
Like you, I have seen dubious activity and phishing emails in my in-box and spam emails . We do all need to step up our vigilance and if it seems odd – it probably is!
Passwords are another area of concern – we now have a password scanner in the Trust, and it spots colleagues who are using passwords that can easily be cracked. We do contact those members of the team and prompt them to strengthen their passwords.
To date, we have contained any hacking attempts, but if we drop our guard, the systems could be brought down which will impact the ability to safely care for patients and add stress and anxiety to an already challenged situation. As I have said it’s now really clear to me that cyber security is a central element of patient and team safety and as we roll out the new electronic patient record, Surrey Safe Care, a robust and well established approach to cyber security will be even more important in sustaining and progressing our move to digitise ways of working and securing all the benefits for you and for patients. Surrey Safe Care is super secure and the team have visited the data centre and seen the system in action at other Trusts to verify this but we will need to do our bit in order to be 100% secure.
Phishing and hacking attempts are continual, but with a little bit of focus, it’s relatively straightforward to protect ourselves and patients and integrity of data and information.
By understanding these threats and the steps to follow, you will not only be protecting patients and Team ASPH but also yourself and family, particularly as our use of technology in the home now often outstrips the use at work.
With best wishes for the week ahead, stay covid safe and cyber secure!