When you search for cyberattacks by vertical, always in the top categories is healthcare. It can be filtered from there by the size of the business, whether it is enterprise or small to medium-sized establishments, but the information targeted is patient data.
Because who knows more personal information about you than your doctor? Likely, no one. And if that data can be accessed, it can be like opening a treasure chest of data to a hacker. So many ways to manipulate that data, it can be an endless source of income via ransomware or sales on the dark web.
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With outdated and unsupported systems allowing easy access for hackers, the amount of PHI uncovered in a simple breach makes it a jackpot find. Not only are technical security gaps an easy entrance for cybercriminals into healthcare organizations, but poor employee cyber-hygiene makes it incredibly easy for hackers to find their way in. Once these databases go for sale on the dark web, they are then used AGAIN by other cybercriminals for a second round of attacking whether it be by selling the patient data or using administrative credentials to login and hit the network with another breach.
This activity is not limited to US-based hackers either. Foreign-based hackers have been found to target US healthcare networks in an attempt to blackmail them, as well as gain access to research data. Not only does this pose a threat to the patient data, but to the United States medical industry in a different way. If advances in treatment, prescription solutions, or any type of research is stolen and credited to another business entity or country, US-based businesses will suffer that loss financially or from lack of recognition.
What’s the Remedy?
Raising awareness, updating equipment, networks, software, etc. and addressing the risk of biomedical devices before they are in place – all are necessary. We also need to continually address the human factor within healthcare organizations as it is proven time and time again that this poses one of the highest risks to any breach occurring.
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Tax Security 2.0: The Taxes-Security-Together Checklist
It seems like everyone is getting on-board with Cyber Security and for good reason. Bad-actors (Hackers) are getting more and more sophisticated and we as business owners need to make a change. Bad-actors know how to get around most of the tools we use to stop them because the tools are so out-dated. Anti-virus and firewalls have been around for over 30 years without much change to the process of stopping attacks. The biggest reason is because from the beginning Security was never about having a set-it-and-forget-it mindset, this is wrong, we need to have a layered approach to security, and this is what’s missing, especially in small businesses.
Most small businesses have the mindset “if I get the latest antivirus and firewall I’m good” or “my IT provider has me covered“. These are all wrong thinking, you need to have the mindset that they can get in, and they may already be in and I just don’t know it yet. Usually when a ransomware attack happens, it is after a hackers has already been in your system for a while, the ransomware is their parting gift. You must create policies and procedures that you continuously evaluate at least every six months. You also need to continuously train your employees, not just a annual training, that doesn’t work anymore. Every 39 seconds there is an attempt to break into a computer and these attacks are performed by sophisticated AI robots, not individuals, so they never tier, so you must put you best foot forward.
Take a look at this video and see how the IRS is stepping in and urging Tax professionals of all sizes to take this serious.
It is starting to become the LAW, no more are the days of just installing an antivirus and hope for the best. Now the government is starting to step in and force companies to do more, to step up your efforts and if you don’t there are hefty fines to pay and in some cases like HIPAA, jail time.
So I urge all of my fellow business owner, office manager and alike, take this seriously, do just think that this will just pass someday, because it won’t, it’s getting worse.
Facebook Status: Away on Vacation
Social media is great for lots of things. Sharing photos, reconnecting with older friends, finding like-minded people plus groups to share ideas and interests. But when does sharing become oversharing?
Hackers gain access to your individual data via your profile as well as the information you share there – and you don’t even realize it is happening. Photos with your children plus pets with identifying names in it, locations of where you’ve already been, or where you are currently on vacation.
By posting this all of the and not ensuring that your profile is certainly private or protected, you are giving over valuable information that assailants can use to guess passwords or even hack your accounts while you are away on holiday, – and likely less involved with the day to day happenings – such as bank account deductions. Not away on holiday? That doesn’t mean you’re from the hook either.
Labeled in a photo from that current work conference? Now they understand where you work and what you do for any living. Some people even post comprehensive resumes online that give away an amazing amount of information.
Whilst your likes and dislikes can create online wedding for you, it can also be a goldmine for marketing and advertising agencies and now cybercriminals who can not just guess your whereabouts and probable login information, but they can also make duplicate (fake) online profiles making use of all of the personal information you’ve shared. Making use of professional headshots only adds to their particular bank of resources and reliability.
How to Avoid Oversharing
Make sure your user profile security is set to the strictest guidelines available. Do not allow yourself to be “tagged” without approval. Do not indicate if you are traveling – wait until you are usually home to share photos and tales.
Professionally speaking, provide details that are headlines, but not whole outlined details of your experience plus career.
Social media is not going away, and the power it keeps can be used for wonderful things to improve your life. Just be sure that you aren’t giving out too much to the wrong people.
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