“45% of ransomware attacks in 2017 targeted healthcare organizations”
Is your practice equipped with an IT department to ensure the potential for cyber attacks are low? We are willing to bet that a handful of practices do. However, quite a few small practices do not have the funds or space for a full-fledged IT department.
Why is cybersecurity important for small to mid-size organizations? 71% of cyber-attacks occur at businesses with less than 100 employees, according to the Congressional Small Business Committee. Kristen Heffernan, General Manager at Henry Schein MicroMD, states “Medical offices – especially smaller practices housing data on their own servers – are being increasingly targeted as hackers know they are less likely to have cybersecurity precautions and data backups in place which make it more likely that the data can be accessed…”
Measures you can take at your practice…
- Establish a firewall: Internal and external firewalls block unauthorized access from incoming and outgoing network traffic.
- Cybersecurity Playbook: Keep your office accountable by creating guidelines for cybersecurity at your practice and talking about the importance of the outlined rules.
- Education: Tell your employees about ways to safeguard themselves against attacks while at the office. Some tips to share include: don’t download email attachments from unknown/suspicious people, don’t click on links from suspect accounts, and don’t run applications that are potentially illegitimate.
- Change Passwords: Safe password management is an easy way to make sure your employees keep their accounts safe. A general rule of thumb is to change your password every 60 to 90 days. We, and everyone else, recommend not including your social security number, birthday, or any part of your name. Using complex passwords also helps keep your information secure!
- BACK-UP YOUR DATA: Backing up your data is critical when talking about cybersecurity initiatives. If a breach occurs, your data will be stored on an outside drive whether that be through the cloud or an external hard drive. REMEMBER: one back up is NOT a back up – we suggest having two to three.
- Windows Updates: Making sure that your system is up to date with the latest security patches on all work stations and servers is an easy way to protect your organization. (Often, you can schedule these types of updates to happen at a certain time of the day without staff having to approve anything.)
- Anti-Malware/Anti-Virus: Installing anti-malware/anti-virus helps to protect your machine from infiltration, infection, and potentially a data breach. These programs detect malware or a virus, remove it, and clean up the damage that malware creates.
- Multi-factor Identification: Requiring the user to provide multiple forms of identification before accessing a server or a network drive may seem tedious. However, this added level of protection for your organization can save you time and money.
How MicroMD helps to protect your data…
MicroMD offers a secure, reliable, efficient, and affordable cloud based backup service to our client base called MicroMD eBackup. The processes in place through this solution helps your practice to meet Meaningful Use Security Audit measures and HIPPA requirements when used as part of a comprehensive data security program.