If you’ve read any piece on proper healthcare technology, you’ve likely heard of proactive monitoring. This is the method of managing technology in a way that keeps it in the best working order possible, rather than waiting until something breaks or doesn’t work properly before trying to fix it. It’s akin to eating right and exercising, but for your computers.
In today’s cyber landscape, this method of management is vital due to the constant evolving threat of viruses, ransomware, malware, and spyware – all malicious computer programs that can be installed on your network through user error or hacker infiltration. Most malicious programs take advantage of known exploits in a software or operating system such as Windows 10. To combat that, software developers release security patches that update the programs to fix the vulnerability, usually before it is even made public. Therefore, most hackers are only targeting those who have failed to properly patch and update their machines.
The best practice in this area is to employ both proactive patch management and network monitoring. Patch management involves scheduling, testing, and remotely installing new patches across a network in a predictable, step by step fashion. This ensures that the patch won’t break any critical Line of Business applications (like suddenly causing your EMR to not launch) as well as that every machine in a network will get the patch, with no back-office computer forgotten. Meanwhile, monitoring entails keeping track of how systems are running and watching for errors or problems with backups. That way, if an issue comes up, it can be immediately resolved, usually before it causes any problems for the end user.
Minimizing downtime and interruptions is one of the biggest benefits of proactive monitoring and patch management, and is a basis of Healthcare Technology Advisors’s managed service offerings. Any IT service provider should be able to give your practice detailed information on how they are proactively protecting your systems today.