What is a firewall?

A firewall is a form of software or hardware that prevents unpermitted network traffic. A firewall functions according to set security standards to stop potentially suspicious external networks and actors from accessing the protected internal network. A common type of outside network is the internet, and common types of malware include worms, viruses, rootkits and phishing tools. 

Why are firewalls important to healthcare?

Firewalls are essential to healthcare organizations because they are the first blockade in protecting EHR systems and other technologies from cyber-attacks, such as malware. Because of this, firewalls are an essential component to maintaining HIPAA compliance. Firewalls also provide IT departments with valuable information on attempted network attacks, letting them adjust their cybersecurity strategies. Without firewalls, the chance of protected health information getting hacked is much higher.