This was an item on my mind this week, and for that matter it seems to come to mind every week when I am in the field working with clients. Wireless is on the move today and we all like the convenience. Here is an article about Health Care catching on to Wireless fever.
The point of this post is to once again try to bring an awareness to light in reference to security with wireless routers. I still see routers every week in use at physician's offices without have any security, thus creating a free "hot spot" for me or anyone else who comes along. My efforts are to take a few moments and stop in to hopefully make the medical practice aware of the fact that they do not have security enabled. Well when you stop and think about someone being able to access medical records or any other information stored on your network, this can be pretty scary, and you do need to protect patient information, HIPAA says so, and good common sense does as well.
A few months ago one of the television stations did a "drive by" of various medical facilities showing how easy this was done and being able to see patient information and basically doing the same as I do in making the office aware that they are broadcasting. EMR software does of course have passwords in place, but what if the software was open and data was being entered - the password does no good at this point as they can see what you are seeing.
Here are some helpful links and some information about war driving. If you don't know what that is, be sure to check it out and find out how your pcs could become zombies under the control of someone outside your network.
This on demand webcast is also worth the watch for more information.
One more item here that can also apply to small business networks. Use WPA and not WEP! WEP is not security enough and packet sniffers can pretty easily break the code.
If you have questions or still have problems, call your IT help contact or the individual or company you contract with for service.
One other short item worth the mention, be sure to keep your PCs updated with Windows Updates to ensure you have the latest security patches. Every update now also contains the free malicious code removal tool update. I think of this from a patient side as well in the fact that I would not be too happy with my physician easily broadcasting any information on myself out there for anyone who passes by and logs on to the network.