New guide on using online conferencing technologies securely for healthcare

26 June, 2020: A new guide for healthcare professionals and organisations to ensure connected, secure consultations such as telehealth has been released by the Australian Digital Health Agency and Cyber CX.

In a first for the Agency it has partnered with Cyber CX to deliver this guide to help build inherent security for GPs and other healthcare providers in the face of cyber security threats.

The 'Using Online Conferencing Technologies Securely - A guide for healthcare organisations ‘Connected, secure consultations’ provides advice on important issues including the need for secure configuration, well-implemented encryption, access control and multi-factor authentication (MFA) when conferencing online.

From selecting a suitable consultation space to managing attendees, there are many issue to consider when using online conferencing.

Healthcare professionals need to consider how well a platform will enable their organisation to protect sensitive information and comply with its legislative and professional requirements.

In selecting a new system, a good starting point is the Agency’s Toolkit for selecting secure IT products and services, available at https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/about-the-agency/digital-health-cyber-security-centre/toolkit-for-selecting-secure-it-products-and-services

Organisations should maintain appropriate cyber security through activities like using the latest operating system version and installing updates as soon as they are available.

The guide is the latest initiative by the Agency as part of its role promoting the use of safe and secure digital health services and systems to improve health outcomes.

GP and Clinical Reference Lead for the Agency Dr Amandeep Hansra welcomed the guide.

“GPs have had to shift rapidly to telehealth in practices over a very short period of time,” she said.

“Many of us don’t have the experience or expertise to know how to select a secure conferencing platform. So we welcome this resource during this significant transition.”

The Agency’s partner CyberCX is Australia’s largest dedicated cyber security company, providing end-to-end cyber security services to Australian businesses and government.

Supporting and protecting Australians is fundamental to how CyberCX serves its clients and the community.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the crisis, CyberCX has engaged Commonwealth health organisations to assist in delivering safe and secure telehealth services.