Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Cybersecurity critical for DoD teleworkers during pandemic

Protect your information when you’re teleworking. Telework made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased internet reliance and heightened the need for safe cybersecurity practices. (Photo by Eric Pilgrim)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Cybersecurity Awareness

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of balancing our continued commitment to the military healthcare mission with our own personal hygiene and well-being. As a result, much of the Department of Defense workforce and their family members have taken to telework and online classes. With a high-volume of DoD network users and their families on the internet, we must balance the requirements of the military healthcare mission with that of protecting the network, computers and mobile devices - whether DoD or personal - by practicing good cyber hygiene just as we practice good personal hygiene.  

“People expect to get information on their phones, at home, at work, in multiple ways,” said Servio Medina, one of the Defense Health Agency’s health information technology’s leaders on cybersecurity. “When you increase the venues of access, you could increase the likelihood of risk and unauthorized access.”

That’s why the Military Health System is increasing its efforts for cybersecurity awareness and “healthy” practice. Medina said it’s more important than ever to protect information, especially someone’s personal health information. Protect your family in cyberspace by discussing safe online behavior with them. To help with this discussion, the DHA offers www.Health.mil/cyberfit: plain language and guidance on cybersecurity and internet safety. Family members need to know and practice basic cybersecurity routines such as create strong passwords and connect to the internet only when it’s needed and disconnect when finished. DoD workforce members who are teleworking should follow their organization’s specific cybersecurity guidance.  

“We need to be more aware and savvy of the risks in accessing information, otherwise we could inadvertently contribute to those risks,” he said.  

Medina pointed to phishing as one of the most common methods of breaching data. Scammers pose as a legitimate business to steal information. During this pandemic crisis, hackers are offering fake COVID-19 test kits to patients who respond with their personal information such as social security numbers, bank information or credit card numbers. Legitimate COVID-19 test kits can be ordered by your healthcare providers after an initial screening.  

“People need to understand more than their rights; they need to know their responsibilities,” said Frank Rowland, chief of DHA’s Cyber Security Division. Medina said most health information breaches are due to human error and are preventable. He said people need to change their mindset to be aware of cybersecurity all the time not just once a year during required DoD cybersecurity training. He compared cybersecurity awareness to handwashing awareness and compliance. When hand hygiene procedures are reinforced at hospitals, the number of healthcare associated infections drop.

“Human error data breaches, just like improper handwashing, puts us at risk,” said Medina. “We need to change human behavior so we’re not making ourselves more vulnerable to ‘cyber infections.’” 

Cybersecurity applies to everyone and cannot be considered "someone else's job." From health care providers, who continue to safeguard patient data well after the point of care, to the patient:  it's everyone's job.  Compromised data can adversely impact health care and the patient directly.

Cybersecurity at DHA extends beyond our hospitals and clinics. At home, MHS beneficiaries must protect themselves online and reduce their risk of becoming victims of cybercrimes. A cyberspace threat or breach to one person can affect the health and well-being of the entire family. This can impact military readiness.

Washing your hands regularly helps reduce healthcare associated infections.  Similarly, proper cyber hygiene helps reduce cyber “infections” that can compromise DoD information and information systems.  The COVID-19 pandemic is directly affecting many of us; every one of us can help minimize risks to our military healthcare mission.

You also may be interested in...

DHA Appointing Portal simplifies signing up for COVID-19 vaccination

Article
4/23/2021
Image of military health personnel wearing a face mask scheduling COVID-19 vaccine shots. Click to open a larger version of the image.

A new online and easy-to-use COVID-19 vaccine appointment portal is rolling out around the world at Military Treatment Facilities. It needs some tweaking on the admin end, users say.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Innovation Month

Donate Blood: It's Mission Critical

Video
4/21/2021
DHA Seal

The pandemic has affected nearly every part of our lives, including reductions in blood donations. Find a military blood donor center today to donate blood in a safe environment where we take all precautions against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus

Clinic doors open wide for those wanting COVID-19 vaccine

Article
4/21/2021
Military personnel administering the COVID-19 vaccine

All eligible and authorized Department of Defense personnel can now get a COVID-19 vaccine if they want one.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Laboratory professionals play important role in fight against COVID-19

Article
4/21/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask prepares COVID-19 test samples

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 18-24, recognizes the behind-the-scenes work laboratorians do to generate clinical lab results and, ultimately, guide the courses of treatment for patients.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Keesler uses post-vaccine waiting period to identify routine care gaps

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask administering the COVID-19 vaccine

15 minutes is all it takes to get routine health care back on track.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

From COVID-19 testing to MHS GENESIS support, lab techs do it all

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask using a blood analyzer machine

To describe what lab techs do, Geisler chose a famed fictional detective to illustrate their importance and provide context.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Tanker medics from McConnell AFB are fighting COVID-19 in St. Paul

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing face masks hugging

Tanker Medics from McConnell Air Force Base travel to Minnesota to help fight COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Breastfeeding

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact Q and A: Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm breastfeeding? It's up to you to decide.  The CDC says COVID-19 vaccines can be offered to pregnant or breastfeeding women.  If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider may help but is not required.

An infographic answering the question of whether you can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Other Medical Conditions

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have other medical conditions? If you have underlying medical conditions, you can choose a COVID-19 vaccine if you have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to any ingredients in the shots. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age to reduce risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

An infographic answering the question of whether you can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have underlying medical conditions.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Protection Last

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: How long does a COVID-19 vaccine protect me for? We do not know yet how long protection may last for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  We do know a COVID-19 vaccine may reduce your chances of spreading the illness to others or facing more serious illness, including hospitalization. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.

An infographic answering the question of how long the COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Currently Pregnant

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I'm currently pregnant? Talk with your healthcare provider to help you decide if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine.  Clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines may offer data and outcomes in the future.  The CDC has a smartphone tool called v-safe.  It offers personalized health check-ins that you can enroll in after a vaccination.

An infographic answering the question of whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you're currently pregnant.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Current Infection

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Facts: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I currently have a positive COVID-19 infection: No. People with a COVID-19 positive test result or illness symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they recover and meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation.  This also applies if you get COVID-19 between a first and second vaccine dose.

An infographic answering the question of whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you currently have a positive COVID-19 infection.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Affect Fertility

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Does a COVID-19 vaccine affect my fertility? There is currently no evidence of fertility impacts due to COVID-19 vaccines.  If you are trying to conceive or want to get pregnant in the future, you may choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available.

An infographic answering the question of whether the COVID-19 vaccine affects a person's fertility.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Appenzeller emphasizes: Get COVID-19 vaccine, no matter where

Article
4/16/2021
Military personnel explaining forensic equipment

The DHA’s Combat Support assistant director had some direct and encouraging words about the military’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout to date.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Tele-critical care will play increased COVID-19 response role in 2021

Article
4/15/2021
Infographic that says "202 tele-critical care successes will help 2021 COVID19 response"

Virtual health and particularly tele-critical care for critically ill patients assumed frontline roles in sustaining care while keeping beneficiaries and health care teams safe.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Innovation Month
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 106 - 120 Page 8 of 37

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.