How can Schools Increase Security to Protect Private Student Records

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How can Schools Increase Security to Protect Private Student Records?

Schools handle numerous sensitive pieces of information about students and their families. Administrators must actively secure the data from unlawful disclosure by following laws, regulations, and ethical commitments.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which gives kids control over their educational data, is one of the statutes that the U.S. Department of Education is dedicated to upholding to protect students’ privacy. Schools, faculty, and employees must follow regulations governing internet safety and the protection of student data.

Data on students can easily be accessed thanks to technology. All student data must be strictly confidential to safeguard students’ rights, security, and dignity. Federal and state laws and regulations may have requirements governing the kinds of security measures that must be implemented concerning this data, but they might not list specific actions.

Unluckily, not all school districts might offer a more thorough analysis of those rules and regulations. As a result, particular precautions must be taken when protecting student data.

 

What is Student Data Privacy?

Student Data Privacy is a term used to describe the protection of student data, which can be anything from academic records to health information.

It aims to ensure that only authorized parties have access to student data and that it is used for the purpose for which it was collected.

State and federal governments enforce Student Data Privacy laws. The U.S. Department of Education has policies regarding student data privacy, and each state has its regulations.

 

Why is Student Privacy Important for Schools?

A school’s policy on student privacy should include information about what can and cannot be recorded, how often cameras will be used, and how long data will be stored. Schools should also provide students with clear information about exercising their rights under the law when school officials or third parties violate their privacy.

Students who feel their privacy has been violated should have an avenue for recourse available to them through their school’s disciplinary process.

Because there are ethical and legal limitations on the acquisition, use, distribution, and treatment of student data, protecting student privacy is crucial. Press the Tab to write more…

  • Make tailored adverts or email scam contact lists.
  • Find the emails and other contact details of your family members.
  • Grade adjustment for a student
  • View private information that should be kept confidential, including prescription medicines and learning and physical problems

Therefore, protecting student privacy is essential to averting issues like these.

 

Security Practices to Protect Private Student Records Middle7 Security Practices to Protect Private Student Records

Let’s look at some strategies schools can do to safeguard students’ privacy better.

 

1.    Purge Unnecessary Student Records

Purge unnecessary student records from your system so hackers cannot access these accounts. This is important because if hackers manage to break into your network and steal data from student accounts, there is no way for you to know who accessed it or for what purpose.

 

2.    Establish Transparency with Laws and Guidelines

Another thing that schools can do is establish transparency with laws and guidelines. These rules vary from state to state but often include policies for how long students’ records can be kept and what they can be used for after graduating high school or moving away from their home state.

This type of transparency will help ensure that students’ rights are being protected and help clarify terminology when discussing matters with parents or teachers.

 

3.    Choose Who can Access the Data

Yes, in daily life, your data must be protected, but what would happen if you had an electrical problem, perhaps in the thick of an emergency? Do you have access to the files and registers of every student?

You can purchase an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit, allowing you to continue working or accessing your files while on the premises. Alternatively, you might want to think about how to go outside the building to access your records.

 

4.    Encrypt Data

Likely, schools will still need to keep some sensitive information about children and their parents after completing minimization and cleansing efforts. Careful security should be maintained for those records using a combination of technical and administrative safeguards.

Adopting robust encryption technology to safeguard the information that is either at rest saved on a server or device or in transit, being transferred over a network, is the most significant technical control schools can apply to information. Schools should recognize equipment that houses sensitive data and implement encryption at the file and disc levels.

 

5.    Train Your Staff

Accessing student data comes with much responsibility. A school system cannot rely on the fact that staff workers always know how to handle this information in specific ways. Employees must understand how to access information safely, how to use a breach reporting system, and what to do in the event of a breach.

 

6.    Carefully Manage Data

You ought to be aware of the information that each individual or company has access to. If you handle the data correctly, you can ensure that it is treated correctly. Publishers of textbooks, for instance, do not require student addresses or phone numbers.

The precise forms of data that are required must be synchronized. Automated bi-directional data sharing is necessary for many contemporary learning management systems and can give you finer control over the data you send.

 

7.    Create a Student Data Policy

Make a plan to regularly assess the organization’s data privacy requirements since data privacy is a never-ending process. Make sure the schedule is consistently updated. Learn the fundamentals of the data gathering, storage, and sharing procedures used by your company first.

Create procedures for handling any data produced by the Internet of Things gadgets. There are more gadgets, which means there are more online targets. Preventive actions can be helpful, such as limiting bandwidth access and ensuring that devices are correctly patched and segmented.

 

Conclusion

Schools must use discretion and prudence to prevent inappropriate use of student and family information. Several basic security procedures can help educational institutions maintain public trust.

As such, a college or university must follow specific federal and state laws when handling student information. However, these laws can be tricky, especially when sensitively handling student information. For instance, a school may be required to follow specific privacy laws like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) when handling student information. However, there are particular ways you can work with a school to help ensure that their student information is dealt with in a manner that complies with FERPA laws. One way to do this is to work with a cybersecurity provider expert to protect student records.

Employing a professional IT solution, such as Protected Harbor, is the best way to handle your data digitally, monitor it, and safeguard student privacy. Rated by Goodfirms as the top cybersecurity and cloud service providers in the US, we have been protecting data for all industries, including schools, for the last two decades.

From anti-malware protection, ransomware protection, and identity and access management to threat detection and response, we have you covered. Our 24×7 tech team and proactive monitoring redefine security. Contact us today to get a free cybersecurity audit.

The Power of Multi-factor Authentication

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The Power of Multi-factor Authentication

Today’s cyber threat landscape is more complex than ever before. New threats are discovered practically every day, and hackers are finding new ways to exploit those threats on an almost daily basis. This means businesses need to be more vigilant about the security of their networks, devices, and user accounts. Every organization should implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) as a strong and consistent security policy.

MFA strengthens your user account security by requiring users to verify their identity in addition to simply providing a username and password. There are many types of multi-factor authentication, but most involve something you know (like a username and password), something you have (such as an access code sent via text message), or something you are (such as a biometric identifier such as a fingerprint or facial recognition).

Download our infographic Security: The Power of Multi-factor Authentication to understand MFA in detail.

 

What is Multi-factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is an access control method used to verify a person’s identity attempting to log on to a computer system or website by combining two or more authentication factors. For example, logging in with a username and password is a single-factor authentication because only one piece of information is verified to be accurate. In contrast, logging in with a username, password, and a code sent to a smartphone via an app is multi-factor authentication because multiple verification methods are used. Multi-factor authentication is a security method that requires users to provide two or more pieces of proof that they are whom they say they are before being granted access to a secured system or resource.

 

Types of Multi-factor AuthenticationThe-Power-of-Multi-factor-Authentication-middle-image

One of three additional forms of information serves as the foundation for most MFA authentication methods:

  1. Things you know (knowledge)- A passphrase, PIN, or password.
  2. Things you have (possession)- A timely, individual verification code. Typically, a mobile app or security token will produce these authentication tokens and send them to you through text message.
  3. Things you are (inherence)- These are biometrically a part of you, such as a speech pattern, iris scan, or fingerprint.

MFA Examples

Using a combination of these components to authenticate is an example of multi-factor authentication.

1. Knowledge

  • Personal security questions and answers
  • Password
  • OTPs (Can be both Knowledge and Possession – You know the OTP, and you have to have something in your Possession to get it, like your phone)

2. Possession

  • OTPs created by mobile apps
  • OTPs transmitted by text or email
  • Smart Cards, USB devices, key fobs, and access badges
  • Software certificates and tokens

3. Inherence

  • Voice, voice recognition, eye or retina scanning, or other biometrics such as fingerprints
  • Behavior analysis

 

Conclusion

MFA is an essential part of any security strategy. While protecting online accounts, your computer, or other devices, utilizing MFA is a great way to protect against hackers and malicious threats. With MFA in place, hackers will have a more challenging time accessing your accounts and will have to employ more sophisticated methods to crack your passwords. Implementing MFA isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort.

Protected Harbor experts say MFA is a must. The company has been in the business for over a decade and is among the top cybersecurity providers in the US. It has been keeping pace with the latest technological advancements to provide top-notch cybersecurity solutions to its clients. With our cybersecurity month discussing safety measures against

It is easy to implement and can be activated for an account. You can keep your data safer and much more secure with just a few clicks. Download our infographic to learn how to implement MFA and secure your data. Contact us today for a free cybersecurity audit.

Microsoft Data Breach Exposed Sensitive Data of 65,000+ Entities in 111 Countries

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Microsoft Data Breach Exposed Sensitive Data

According to the security research company SOCRadar, a breach of Microsoft servers may have affected over 65,000 organizations in 111 countries.

 

In response to a security failure that left an endpoint publicly accessible via the internet without any authentication, Microsoft admitted that it unintentionally exposed the information of thousands of customers.

According to an alert from Microsoft, “this misconfiguration resulted in the possibility for unauthenticated access to some business transaction data corresponding to interactions between Microsoft and potential customers, such as the planning or potential implementation and provisioning of Microsoft services.”

Microsoft highlighted that there was no security flaw to blame for the B2Bleak, which was “triggered by an unintended misconfiguration on an endpoint that is not in use across the Microsoft ecosystem.”

 

Microsoft Data Breach Exposed Sensitive Data middleWhat Happened?

2.4 TB of confidential data, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, company names, and attached files containing confidential company information, such as proof-of-concept documents, sales data, and product orders, may have been exposed due to a compromised Azure Blob Storage, according to SOCRadar.

SOCRadar termed the leak a Bluebleed. According to them, “The exposed data includes files dated from 2017 to August 2022.”

On September 24, 2022, Microsoft received notifications of the breach. On September 25, 2022, they issued a statement confirming that they had secured the compromised endpoint, which is “now only accessible with required authentication,” and that an investigation had “found no indication that customer accounts or systems were compromised.”

 

Why This Matters?

According to the threat intelligence firm’s analysis, the stolen information “includes Proof-of-Execution (PoE) and Statement of Work (SoW) documents, user information, product orders/offers, project details, PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data, and documents that may reveal intellectual property,” they added.

Microsoft stated that it believes “the figures” and “the magnitude of this issue” were grossly exaggerated by SOCRadar.

Redmond added “that it was not in the best interest of safeguarding customer privacy or security and perhaps exposing them to undue risk” for SOCRadar to gather and make the data searchable through a dedicated search engine.

Customers who contacted Microsoft’s support staff were reportedly informed that the company would not be notifying data regulators since “no other notifications are required under GDPR” in addition to those given to the affected customers.


In addition, Kevin Beaumont, a security researcher, said, “the Microsoft bucket “has been publicly indexed for months,” and “it’s even in search engines.”

Although there is no proof that threat actors inappropriately accessed the data before its disclosure, such breaches could still be used for bad intentions like extortion, social engineering attacks, or a quick buck.

Erich Kron, a security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, wrote to The Hacker News in an email, “While some of the data that may have been accessed seem trivial if SOCRadar is correct in what was exposed, it could include some sensitive information about the infrastructure and network configuration of potential customers.”

“Potential attackers could use this information to find vulnerabilities in the networks of these organizations.”

 

Protected Harbor’s Take on the Matter

It’s a sad fact of life that every major software company will eventually experience security breaches at some point in time. Unfortunately, it has become far more common in this ever-changing digital world. However, when it comes to these big, well-known companies that are responsible for keeping your business data safe, there needs to be an intense form of trust which comes with them taking proper action and solutions.

In the past, we’ve seen issues with Google, Facebook, and even the U.S. government’s websites. It’s important to note that these are all vast organizations with dedicated teams of engineers and experts working around the clock to ensure their customers’ security. Microsoft is no different, having some of the best security engineers in the world.

Protected Harbor has always emphasized the importance of network configuration on endpoint protection. An exemplary network configuration can reduce the risk of your network being exploited by malware and other threats.

Protected Harbor provides complete endpoint protection, configuration, and monitoring that protects your computers from malware, ransomware, data breaches, viruses, and other cyber threats. Our engineers also monitor and audit your network to ensure all your systems have the latest firmware, are set up correctly, and are protected against evolving threats.

“It’s happened before, and it will happen again. It’s just the cyclical nature of things. Microsoft will recover, and a new company will go through the process of becoming the next big thing. What’s important to understand here is that the cycle will keep turning as long as people keep investing in technology.”- Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor.
Don’t be the next victim of a data breach. It’s time to invest in a good cybersecurity plan. Contact us today for a cybersecurity audit.

Hackers Stole My Data: Should I Pay the Ransom?

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Hackers Stole My Data: Should I Pay the Ransom?

Ransomware attacks are surging around the globe at a mind-blowing pace. In the 2022 Cyber Threat Report by SonicWall, ransomware attacks on governmental institutions worldwide increased by about 1885% in 2021. The healthcare industry alone witnessed an increase of 755%. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the total loss incurred globally was around $20 billion in 2021. According to the same report, the loss is now projected to cross $265 billion by the year 2031.

These statistics show that ransomware attacks are imminent for most companies regardless of size; it’s just a matter of when. So, in this surge, everyone wants to know if they need to pay for ransomware or not.

 

Do We Need to Pay for Ransomware Attacks?

The facts legitimize the debate over whether the ransom should be paid once the illegal encryption has compromised your important data. The answer is not an easy one; it is a double-edged sword. The theory and practice differ in answer to the question of payment of the ransom.

You need to know both sides of the coin before you conclude.

 

Reasons in Favor of Paying the Ransom

Most of the time, the companies who fall victim to a ransomware attack choose to pay the ransom. One might feel that they should have made a better choice, but given their considerations, it is never clearly an irrational decision. The affected organizations opt to pay the ransom because of one of the following reasons:

  • To Reduce the Recovery Time

The companies have to consider the time. The time required to recover the encrypted data may exceed the limit which companies can withstand. The service delivery firms may find themselves in an extraordinary situation in this regard. They may lose revenue and clients swiftly, and prolonging the recovery may be unbearable in terms of the cost incurred. Consequently, the companies decide to pay the ransom in hopes of recovering the data quickly and easily.

  • To Save Their Reputation

The companies fear that hackers may publicize the news of their victimhood if they don’t act fast and pay the ransom. The name and reputation built over decades may go down the drain with a click. Resultantly, the companies choose to pay the amount instead of jeopardizing their reputation.

  • To Avoid Huge Recovery Costs

The companies are business enterprises, after all. Rational actors make cost and benefit analyses before making crucial decisions. If they feel that the cost to recover the data might not be rationalized in terms of the ransom amount, they decide to pay the ransom instead.

  • To Protect the Information of the Clients and the Employees

Perhaps the most valuable asset at stake is the personal information of the clients and the employees. The companies can hardly accept the exposure of sensitive information, which may risk the people associated with them. Naturally, they choose to go ahead with the ransom payment.

 

Reasons Against Paying the Ransom Hackers-stole-my-data-should-i-pay-the-ransom middle

The reasons in favor of paying the ransom may be theoretically valid, but the experience, in such cases, suggests otherwise. Most security experts agree that ransom should not be spent. They have the following reasons to support their view:

  • No Guarantee of Data Recovery

As a company, you might decide to pay a ransom to recover sensitive information, but you might never get it back. Either you might not receive the decryption key, or you might not be able to locate the data where it was before the attack. Hence, you might risk dooming yourself with a payment that might not pay you back.

  • Risk of Future Attacks

This is a natural occurrence. Once you put out your weakness by paying the ransom and the word gets out, you will become a potential prey to more attacks in the future. The hackers will use the money to come back even more powerfully. Furthermore, the hackers watching the whole episode will attack you hoping to get paid as you paid earlier. You don’t wish to see yourself in such a situation as a company or an individual.

  • Blackmailing Without Any Bounds

The hackers might ask for more payments. They might steal your data, meaning getting a decryption key might not get you over the hook. The hackers might blackmail you into paying them so they don’t publicize your data. Hence, you might be in a vicious circle of repetitive payments to save your life as a company, but such payments might destroy you rather than save you.

  • Legal Troubles

There is consensus among security experts that the proceeds of cybercrimes are used to commit even more significant crimes. Around 79% of the experts in a 2021 survey by Talion advocated criminalizing ransom payments. The money which you pay might be used used to commit terrorism. National security agencies will advise you against paying the ransom to prevent the funds from landing in the hands of those who commit heinous crimes like terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc. Your payment might be seen as aiding the criminals in their destructive motives by the law of your land or the country to which the hackers belong. You might end up paying for lawsuits, then.

 

Consider all the Possible Options before Paying

Let the law and the empirical evidence guide your decision. You may do the following things:

  • Paying Ransom Must Not be Prioritized

It would help if you went by the opinion of the experts. According to the empirical data, paying the hackers won’t help you in the future. Your payment will only encourage the hackers and make ransomware attacks a lucrative option for them. Don’t jeopardize your money and prestige by bowing down to the hackers, not as the first option, at least.

  • Bring Law Enforcement Agencies into Play.

Get the law on your side. You might be able to guide the law enforcement agencies(LEAs) in their quest to find more information about the hackers. Possibly, the LEAs might identify the hackers, or they might be able to prevent other companies and individuals from victimhood.

  • Look for a Decryption Key

You might be lucky enough to find a decryption key online. For this, you will have to know the attack variant first. Many online websites might help you with the recognition of the attack variant.

  • Pay Ransom as a Last Resort

After looking at all the facts and legal liabilities involved, if you believe you have no other option but to pay the ransom, negotiate wisely before paying. Tell the hackers to delete the data, if possible; otherwise, they might use it to blackmail you again.

 

Conclusion

Ransomware assaults are impossible to avoid altogether. You can best prepare for an attack and have measures in place to respond quickly. To put it in a nutshell, don’t pay unless you have to. It all boils down to proactive measures to avoid an attack in the first place rather than scrambling for help when little can be done.

Additionally, it’s essential to strengthen backups and test restores for all critical business operations. Assuming the backups are reliable and that recovering from a disaster would never be more expensive than paying a ransom for an uncertain result.

“In most cases, organizations only start testing restore after being hit by ransomware,” says Protected Harbor CEO Richard Luna.

Additionally, guarantee that executives are fully informed about the matter and participate in decision-making. The more they are aware of the hazards, the more equipped they will be to decide and defend it in court.

In conclusion, paying a ransom demand needs to be carefully considered because it is typically not wise to do so. As always, it is preferable to be proactive and invest in safeguarding your crucial data assets from cyberattacks than to be forced to take protective measures.

Protected Harbor offers single sign-on (SSO), multifactor authentication (MFA), automated password resets, isolated backups, easy remote management, and much more at an affordable price to protect your systems and data from attack by cybercriminals using a stolen or phished password. And for more than 20 years, we have been defending our clients.  Additionally, we provide both trainers and trainees with an easygoing training experience.

To learn more about how our digital risk prevention platform can help you safeguard your company and your clients from ransomware threats, get in touch with the solution specialists at Protected Harbor right away. Visit Protected Harbor to get the necessary guidance and a ransomware audit that shields you from malicious attacks.

These Cloud Vulnerabilities Will Cause Your Next Data Breach

Cloud Vulnerabilities

These Cloud Vulnerabilities Will Cause Your Next Data Breach

 

Cyber security is a constant race between businesses and hackers in the digital world. Every new technology has potential risks that must be understood and addressed before implementation. New threats are emerging all the time and cloud computing is no different. Many types of cloud services are being used by businesses more than ever before.

In fact, according to Gartner, private cloud services will continue to grow faster than public cloud services in the next few years. However, some types of clouds are riskier than others regarding cyber security. Several vulnerabilities can expose your company’s data when using any cloud service or Software as a Service (SaaS) application.

This article lists common vulnerabilities you should know about prior to using any cloud-based system or software.

 

Public Exposure

The oldest blunder in the book is setting up a new cloud resource but leaving it entirely insecure and publicly visible. Your unprotected public assets are almost certainly going to be found because hackers today frequently use automated tools to scan target networks for any exposed assets.

By 2022, nearly 50% of businesses would unknowingly or accidentally have some IaaS storage devices, networks, apps, or APIs directly exposed to the public internet. This number is up from 25% in 2018,

 

Excessive Permissions

Fast company operations are one of the main advantages of switching to the cloud. However, access credentials are routinely distributed hurriedly and needlessly in the interest of expediency, resulting in many individuals having excessive permissions for which they have no business need for. The issue is that if any of those credentials end up in the wrong hands, attackers would then have unrestricted access to private information.

By 2023 (up from 50% in 2020) 25% of security breaches will be due to improper handling of login credentials, identities, and privileges, predicts Gartner.

 

Cloud Vulnerabilities middleLack of Multi-factor Authentication for Privileged Users

One of the most typical cloud vulnerabilities is the absence of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for users assigned to privileged administrative positions in control. Access for privileged users must be as secure and feasible in any cloud environment. A company may suffer severe repercussions if a fundamental security measure like MFA is not enabled.

It is straightforward for malicious actors to exploit privileged accounts without MFA being enabled. These accounts are vulnerable to brute force assaults due to the lack of MFA. Hackers can use these accounts to entirely disrupt an organization’s operations and steal its data because they often have high administrator permissions.

 

Insecure APIs

APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, are frequently used to simplify cloud computing. APIs make it very simple to share data between other apps, improving convenience and efficiency. However, if they are not secured, this can lead to multiple cloud vulnerabilities and become an easy entry point for malicious attackers.

Threat actors can launch DDoS assaults and obtain access to sensitive company data by taking advantage of unsecured APIs while remaining unnoticed. In fact, by 2022, API abuses are anticipated to overtake other attack methods as the most popular, according to Gartner data.

 

Final Thoughts

If companies using the cloud do not consider limiting the dangers that go along with it, they are taking a preventable yet significant risk. The IT processes that teams use to develop and deploy applications in the cloud infrastructure must be well integrated into a company’s strict cloud security rules.

The use of cloud computing has changed how businesses and hackers operate. Both new opportunities and threats related to cloud security have been introduced. Enterprises must continuously address the dangers and difficulties associated with cloud security while implementing the appropriate security technologies to facilitate operational work.

It’s essential to understand the potential vulnerabilities so that you can mitigate them. Suppose you have any concerns about your current cloud environment. In that case, you can consult with a cloud consulting company like Protected Harbor to help you assess the risks and implement practices to avoid data breaches. Protected Harbor’s cloud security solution integrates the latest security technologies with your cloud infrastructure. Businesses can take advantage of cloud computing’s capabilities with the right technology and the help of cloud security specialists.

We have researched and created an e-book for companies looking to migrate to the cloud. This e-book helps them to understand better the benefits as well as the risks that come with cloud migration so that they can plan. Get your free copy of the e-book today!

Data Breach Strikes California’s Largest Hospital System: 69,000 Patients Affected

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Hackers gained access to the test results of tens of thousands of patients at California’s leading hospital system.

 

What Happened

Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nonprofit health plan provider, has announced a data breach that exposed almost 70,000 individuals’ sensitive health information.

According to TechCrunch, the breach of Kaiser Permanente’s systems was first disclosed to patients in a June 3 letter. According to the letter, the breach was first discovered on April 5, when officials learned that an “unauthorized entity” had accessed a Kaiser employee’s emails. The emails contained “protected health information” about tens of thousands of Kaiser customers. According to a second filing with the Department of Health and Human Services, the total number of people affected by the breach is 69,589.

The exposed data includes first and last names, medical record numbers, dates of service, and laboratory test result information according to the disclosure letter. Still, no social security or credit card details were involved.

According to Kaiser’s email to customers, which was published, “we terminated the unauthorized access within hours of it occurring and promptly initiated an investigation to identify the magnitude of the event.” “We found that the emails contained protected health information, and while we have no evidence that an unauthorized party accessed the material, we cannot rule out the possibility.”

Though the HHS document classifies the incident as a “Hacking/IT Incident,” it’s unclear how the “unauthorized person” got access to the emails.

 

What It Means

Over the last few years, the healthcare business has seen an influx of unwanted attention from cybercriminals. A data breach at a Massachusetts healthcare company exposed information on the treatments that up to two million people had received, as well as their names, birthdays, and Social Security numbers, only last week. We recently saw a data breach at Eye Care Leaders, so it’s becoming common for healthcare organizations every day. During the pandemic, hospitals and healthcare providers were popular targets, and it’s easy to see why. Medical facilities are attractive targets for cybercriminals because they store massive databases of personal information that can be ransomed, stolen, or sold on the dark web. The cybersecurity defenses provided by hospitals’ antiquated digital infrastructure aren’t the finest in the world.

Human Error is Still a Threat to Security

The event also highlights what has always been and continues to be the most significant security risk businesses face in human error.

According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), which takes a complete look at data breaches from the previous year, 82 percent of the intrusions studied last year featured “the human element,” which can mean a variety of things.

“Whether it’s the use of stolen credentials, phishing, misuse, or simply an error,” researchers wrote in the report, “humans continue to play an eminent part in incidents and breaches alike.”

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Protected Harbor’s Take on The Matter

“The threat of Business Email Compromise (BEC), which appears to have occurred in the Kaiser incident, is particularly serious.”- said Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor. Socially designed phishing and other malicious email campaigns trick unwary employees into giving up credentials to their business email accounts have become increasingly sophisticated.

Once a threat actor has secured early access to a firm network, this might lead to more malicious operations, such as ransomware or other financially driven cybercrimes.

In fact, BEC has become a big financial drain for businesses, with the FBI recently reporting that companies spent $43 billion on this type of attack between June 2016 and December 2021. In fact, there was a 65 percent increase in BEC schemes between July 2019 and December 2021, which the FBI ascribed to the epidemic forcing most business activity to take place online.

Tips to stop BEC & Common Attacks

Upstream Spam Filter- Spam filters detect unsolicited, unwanted, and virus-infested emails (also known as spam) and prevent them from reaching inboxes. Spam filters are used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to ensure that they are not transmitting spam. Spam filters are also used by small and medium-sized organizations (SMBs) to protect their employees and networks.

Inbound email (email that enters the network) and outbound email (email that leaves the network) are both subject to spam filtering (email leaving the network). ISPs use both strategies to protect their clients. Inbound filters are usually the focus of SMBs.

2FA– 2FA is an additional layer of protection that verifies that anyone is attempting to access an online account are who they claim to be. The user must first provide their username and password. They will then be requested to submit another piece of information before they can receive access. This provides an additional layer of security to the process of gaining access.

Applying Recent Security Updates– Updating your software is very important, and it’s something that you should never overlook. Frequently updating your devices and installing the latest security updates can help to protect you from cyber threats and keep your devices secure.

Restricting User Access to Core Files (Access Control)– Access control is a security approach regulating who or what can view or utilize resources in a computing environment. It is an essential security concept that reduces the risk to the company or organization. Access control is a critical component of security compliance programs because it guarantees that security technology and access control policies are in place to secure sensitive data, such as customer information.

Network Monitoring for Malicious Activity– Network security monitoring is an automated procedure that looks for security flaws, threats, and suspicious activity in network devices and traffic. It can be used by businesses to detect and respond to cybersecurity breaches quickly. Network monitoring identifies and analyzes weaknesses, notifying you of potential security threats. Cybersecurity alerts enable you to swiftly safeguard your company from network attacks and the resulting calamities.

User Activity Monitoring- User activity monitoring (UAM) solutions are software tools that track and monitor end-user behavior on company-owned IT resources such as devices, networks, and other IT resources. Enterprises can more easily spot suspicious behavior and manage risks before they occur in data breaches, or at least in time to minimize damages, by deploying user activity monitoring.

 

Final Thoughts

In a world where cyber-attacks are common and more sophisticated than ever before, businesses must take steps to protect themselves and their customers from data breaches and other cyber threats. One way to do this is by partnering with a trusted company that offers unparalleled cybersecurity solutions.

Thanks to our innovative cloud-based approach to security, you can be sure that your company will be well protected against the ever-evolving threats to data security. By thoroughly examining your company’s network security and other aspects of its IT infrastructure, we can identify areas of weakness and suggest ways to correct them.

Visit Protectedharbor.com today to get a risk-free review of your current IT security solution. You’ll receive a detailed assessment of your current security setup and recommendations for improving your security posture.

Eye Care Leaders Data Breach Caused by Cloud EHR Vendor. Don’t be the Next.

Eye Care Leaders Data Breach Caused by Cloud EHR Vendor. Don’t be the Next.

Data Breach Caused by Cloud EHR VendorThe databases and system configuration files for Eye Care Leaders, a manufacturer of cloud-based electronic health record and practice management systems for eye care practitioners, were recently hacked.

What Happened

The breach reportedly compromised Eye Care Leaders’ cloud-based myCare solution, with hackers obtaining access to the electronic medical record databases on or around December 4, 2021, according to breach notification letters provided by some of the affected practices. The hacker then erased the databases and system configuration files.

When the breach was discovered, Eye Care Leaders promptly locked its networks and initiated an investigation to avoid additional unauthorized access. That investigation is still underway, and it’s unclear how many patient data was exposed. However, it’s possible that patient data was seen and exfiltrated before the database was deleted. Patients’ names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, health insurance information, Social Security numbers, and information regarding care received at eye care offices were all stored in the databases.

More than 9,000 ophthalmologists use the Durham, NC-based company’s products. It’s unclear how many providers have been affected at this time. Summit Eye Associates, situated in Hermitage, Tennessee, has revealed that it was hacked and that the protected health information of 53,818 patients was potentially stolen. Evergreen Health, a division of Kings County Public Hospital District No. 2, has also acknowledged that patient data has been compromised. According to reports, the breach affected 20,533 people who got eye care at Evergreen Health. The breach has been confirmed by Allied Eye Physicians & Surgeons in Ohio, which has revealed that the data of 20,651 people was exposed.

The records of 194,035 people were exposed due to the breach at Regional Eye Associates, Inc. and Surgical Eye Center of Morgantown in West Virginia. Central Vermont Eye Care (30,000 people) recently reported a data breach affecting EHRs. However, HIPAA Journal has not been able to establish whether the cyberattack caused the data loss at Central Vermont Eye Care on Eye Care Leaders.

Update

Over the last two weeks, the number of eye care providers affected by the hack has increased. The following is a list of eye care practitioners who have been identified as being affected:

Affected Eye Care Provider Breached Records
Regional Eye Associates, Inc. & Surgical Eye Center of Morgantown in West Virginia 194,035
Shoreline Eye Group in Connecticut 57,047
Summit Eye Associates in Tennessee 53,818
Finkelstein Eye Associates in Illinois 48,587
Moyes Eye Center, PC in Missouri 38,000
Frank Eye Center in Kansas 26,333
Allied Eye Physicians & Surgeons in Ohio 20,651
EvergreenHealth in Washington 20,533
Sylvester Eye Care in Oklahoma 19,377
Arkfeld, Parson, and Goldstein, dba Ilumin in Nebraska 14,984
Associated Ophthalmologists of Kansas City, P.C. in Missouri 13,461
Northern Eye Care Associates in Michigan 8,000
Ad Astra Eye in Arkansas 3,684
Fishman Vision in California 2,646
Burman & Zuckerbrod Ophthalmology Associates, P.C. in Michigan 1,337
Total 522,493

Data Breach Caused by Cloud EHR Vendor smallProtected Harbor’s Take On The Matter

There are more than 1,300 eye care practices in the United States alone. And with more than 24 million Americans affected by some form of visual impairment, the demand for eye care services continues to grow.  In response to these growing needs, we have seen an increase in cloud-based electronic health record software solutions to streamline operations while increasing efficiency and security.

Unfortunately, this also means that cybercriminals see the eye care industry as a prime target for hackers because their information is so sensitive and accessible. That’s why you must know which cloud EHR vendors were hacked recently.

Protected Harbor’s 5 ways to prevent unauthorized access to your company data:

  1. Strong Password Policy– Having your users add symbols, numbers, and a combination of characters to their passwords makes them more difficult to crack. Having a minimal amount of characters and changing it periodically (every 60 or 90 days) ensures that outdated passwords aren’t reused for years, making it much easier to get unwanted access to the account.
  2. MFA– Multi-factor authentication is a great approach to ensure that you only access the account. You will need another device (usually your mobile device) nearby in addition to your usual login and password since you will be required to enter a code that will be produced instantly.
  3. Proactive Monitoring- Preventing unauthorized access is the initial step, but monitoring login attempts and user behaviors can also provide insight into how to prevent it best. For example, if you have logs of failed login attempts for a single user. You can launch an inquiry to see whether the user merely forgot their password or if someone is attempting to breach the account.
  4. IP Whitelisting- IP Whitelisting compares the user’s IP address to a list of “allowed” IP addresses to determine whether or not this device is authorized to access the account. If your firm only uses one or a limited number of IP addresses to access the internet, as is usually the case, you can add a list of IP addresses that are granted access. All other IPs will be sent to a page that isn’t allowed.
  5. SSO (Single Sign-On)- If your firm has a centralized user directory, using it to acquire access makes things more accessible and more manageable for you. You’ll have to remember one password, and if something goes wrong, your network administrator will be able to deactivate all of your applications at once.

Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor, stated: Unfortunately, this is the way things will be in the future. The development tools used to create websites and mobile applications were created in the 1990s. Data transferability, or the ability to move data from one device to another, was a critical concern back then. The emphasis back then was on data proliferation. FTP comes to mind as a secure method with no encryption. Authentication was designed for discerning between good actors, not to harden data and protect against data theft, because all data exchanges were between good actors back then. Now that we live in a different environment, we may expect more data breaches unless security is built into data transfer protocols rather than bolted on as an afterthought.

We’ve been helping businesses respond to these attacks for some time now, including cross-pollinating destructive IP attacks across numerous access points and multiple AI use. If a company has 50 public IPs and we’re proactive monitoring the services behind them, and a bad actor assaults one of them, ban them from all entry points in all systems, even if it involves writing a synchronized cron job across firewalls or other protection devices. Add in artificial intelligence (AI) and comprehensive application monitoring, and a corporation has the tools to detect and respond to such threats quickly.

Final Thoughts

Data security isn’t a one-time or linear process. You must invest ongoing resources, time, and effort to ensure data security against unwanted access.

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated every day, and they are employing cutting-edge technologies to target businesses and get illicit data access.

As the number of data breaches rises, you must become more attentive. It’s critical that your company implements concrete security measures and that each employee makes cybersecurity a high priority.

If you’d want us to conduct an IT security audit on your current security policies, we’ll work with you to ensure that you’re well-protected against unauthorized data access and other cyber risks. Contact us today!

The Importance of Encryption in Data Security

The Importance of Encryption in Data Security

Importance of Encryption in Data SecurityData security has become a point for convergence with the widespread use of the Internet and the adoption of network applications. The information and data transmitted over the Internet should ensure its integrity, confidentiality, and authenticity. One of the most effective ways to resolve this issue is to leverage advanced encryption techniques. Encryption is one of the most crucial methods to secure data online. It’s a process of converting plain text into ciphertext that is not understood or transformed by unauthorized users. Encryption is a cybersecurity measure protecting sensitive data using unique codes that encrypt data and make it unreadable to intruders. This article will discuss fast-speed symmetric encryption, secure asymmetric encryption, and hash functions. Then we’ll figure out the importance of encryption and how can end-to-end data encryption prohibit data breaches and security attacks.

What is Encryption?

To get secure in this digital world, the fundamental necessity is to hide sensitive data and information from unauthorized users or malicious actors. Encryption is the best way to protect data from being hacked. It’s a process of making data and files unreadable using an encryption key, so if somebody tries to gain access to sensitive data, they only see gibberish. Encryption provides security and privacy by hiding information from being shared or hacked by malicious actors. To preserve the integrity and confidentiality of data, encryption is an essential tool whose value can’t be overstated.

The encryption takes place through a proper process. The data that needs to be encrypted is known as plaintext. This plaintext is passed through some encryption algorithms. Apart from it, an encryption key is required to convert the plaintext into ciphertext. When the data is encrypted, the ciphertext is sent over the Internet instead of plaintext. Once it is reached the receiver, they use a decryption key to convert ciphertext into the original readable format.

The need for data security has given birth to various encryption techniques, such as symmetric, asymmetric, hash functions, message authentication codes, digital signatures, and more. But in this report, we highlight symmetric and asymmetric encryption techniques and hash functions to secure data.

Symmetric Encryption

In symmetric encryption, also known as private-key encryption, a secret key is held by one person only and exchanged between the sender and receiver of data. Both the sender and receiver should have a copy of a secret key to transfer data. The recipient should have the same key as the sender before the message is decrypted. The standard symmetric encryption algorithms include RC2, AES, DES, RC6, 3DE, and Blowfish. The positive aspect of symmetric encryption is that it is faster. However, symmetric encryption is not much robust technique for protecting data. It can be easily decrypted, hacked, and prone to attacks. But if planned and executed carefully, the risk of decoding can be reduced. Symmetric encryption is suitable for closed systems having fewer risks of a third-party intrusion.

Asymmetric Encryption

Asymmetric encryption, also known as public-key encryption, is a two-key system with a public and a private key. As the name suggested, the public key is available to anyone, but the private key remains with the recipient intended to decode data. The user sends an encrypted message using a private key not shared with the recipient. If a user or sending system first encrypts data with the intended recipient’s public key and then with the sender’s private key, the recipient can decrypt data first using the secret or private key and then the sender’s public key. Using the asymmetric encryption method, the sender and recipient can authenticate each other and protect the data’s secrecy. The asymmetric algorithm includes RSA, Diffie Hellman, XTR, ECC, and EES. The positive aspect of asymmetric encryption is that it is relatively safe and secure than symmetric encryption. However, it is slower than symmetric encryption.

Encryption in Data SecurityHash Functions

A hash function is a unique identifier for a set of data or information. It’s a process that takes plaintext data and converts it into unique ciphertext. Hash functions generate unique signatures of fixed length for a data set. There is a unique hash for each data set or a message that makes minor changes to the data or information that is easily traceable. Data encryption using hash functions can’t be decoded or reversed back into the original format. Therefore, hashing is used only as a technique for verifying data. Hash functions ensure data integrity, protect stored passwords, and operate at different speeds to suit other processes.

Importance of Encryption

There are a lot of reasons for using encryption techniques. The following points can define its importance. Encryption is essential for data security because it provides

  • Confidentiality_ This is critical because it ensures that no unauthorized user can understand the shared information except one having the decipher key.
  • Data Integrity_ It ensures that the received information or data has not been modified from its original format. While transferring data online, it may get changed by malicious actors. However, data integrity confirms that data is not intact by an unauthorized user. It can be achieved by using hash functions at both sender and the receiver end to create a unique message.
  • Authentication_ It’s ensuring the intended recipient’s identity. The user has to prove their identity to access the information.
  • Access Control_ It’s a process of restricting unauthorized users from accessing data. This process controls who can access resources and prevent data from malicious actors.

Conclusion

Today most of us communicate or send information and data in cyberspace, putting security at risk. Users transmit their private information and data that malicious actors can hack into over the Internet. As a result of the widespread adoption of advanced technologies and the Internet, there is a need to implement robust security measures, and data encryption is one of them. This article has learned a lot about data encryption and its various methods, including symmetric, asymmetric, and hash functions. Moreover, we have seen how encryption provides data security, integrity, and confidentiality value.

Protecting your network against cyber threats requires an integrated approach with solid security infrastructure. Encrypt your data on site-level and at the cloud level to keep your information safe from hackers. If a hacker breaks into your data center, you’d want to know right away. The best way to do this is to monitor your data 24/7/365. You can do this by hiring a data security specialist such as Protected Harbor.

Protected Harbor’s suite of services includes remote monitoring and support, software updates, anti-virus, anti-malware, data backup, encryption, and much more. We are providing a free IT Audit to the business looking to safeguard themselves. Contact us for an audit today.

5 Common Weaknesses of Modern Day Business Cyber Security Plans

5 Common Weaknesses of Modern Day Business Cyber Security Plans

 

Cybersecurity PlansA host of advanced and evolving cybersecurity threats have put organizations at risk. All it takes is a system vulnerability or a single weakness to compromise the integrity of an organization. Commonly, business owners and security experts are unaware of the vulnerabilities that exist in their IT infrastructure.

If you want to protect your business from cyber threats, it’s essential to recognize the weaknesses in your security environment and take action as soon as possible. Many security experts and business owners are unaware when it comes to cybersecurity. However, you can’t protect your business from cybercriminals if you do not know the vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure.

Here are some common cybersecurity weaknesses of modern-day business cyber security plans.

1. Failure to cover cybersecurity basics

The most common weaknesses and vulnerabilities used by hackers in the past reveal that many organizations fail to cover cybersecurity core values. Organizations often fail to find their vulnerabilities to attack, their valuable and critical assets, and the sophistication of potential cyber criminals. Technology is not the only reason behind security risks. A company’s culture and basic strategic plans also play a significant role in preventing cyber attacks.

2. Lack of a cybersecurity policy

Cybersecurity procedures and guidelines explain how employees, partners, consultants, and end-users access internet resources and online applications. Generally, these policies define the security expectations, responsibilities, and roles in the organization. If you do not make cybersecurity policies in the first place and your employees do not engage with them, then your company may face cyber risks and threats.

Your cybersecurity policy should

  • identify cybersecurity risks
  • protect organization information and network
  • establish cybersecurity governance
  • detect unauthorized activities
  • detect and handle risks associated with third parties

Weaknesses-of-Modern-day-Cybersecurity

3. Confusing compliance with cybersecurity

Another reason that can put organizations at risk is that they confuse compliance with cybersecurity policies. Ensuring compliance with the organization’s rules is not like protecting it against cyber-attacks unless those rules focus on cybersecurity. A company’s risk management requires that every person in the organization play their role in keeping the security level related to them.

Maintaining security is a company-wide role and responsibility. After seeing the increasing number of cyberattacks, many organizations are still not sufficiently prepared for cybersecurity. Only a few organizations have a cyber incident response plan to protect themselves from cybercriminals.

4. Use of unsecured resources and outdated systems

If you use an unsecured network in your organization, it’s trivially easy for cybercriminals to access your system. Once they infiltrate the network, they can easily access all systems and devices connected to that network. Although it’s the most straightforward step towards a secure environment, many business owners still neglect it. Similarly, using unsecured communication channels can put your organization at risk.

Moreover, using an outdated system can potentially harm your IT infrastructure. Most hardware manufacturers and software developers keep detecting the security threats that can hurt their users. When they see a problem, they try to eliminate it by updating hardware or software. If your organization uses systems without editing them regularly, your business could be at risk.

5. Untrained employees

Almost 90% of data breaches occur due to human error. A slight mistake from an employee could provide an opportunity for cybercriminals to access your business data. Therefore, untrained employees are the most significant vulnerabilities in your organization. It’s necessary to educate your employees and provide them with security training. Tell them to use unique and strong passwords, teach them to identify different types of attacks, and tell them to use secure networks.

 

Conclusion

Protecting your business in the digital world can be very difficult. Unfortunately, facing security risks is the price we pay for staying connected to the online world. If you are aware of the weaknesses in your security infrastructure, you can keep yourself protected from cybercriminals, or you have the potential to fight against them. Therefore, talk to your employees to ensure they understand the importance of cybersecurity and help them by providing guidance and tools to detect vulnerabilities.

You can take steps to protect yourself against cyberattacks, and you should have a plan in place before disaster strikes. Talk to Protected Harbor today so we can help you secure your internet infrastructure. With the right tools in place, such as a dedicated expert tech team available 24×7, remote monitoring, 99.99% uptime, and many more, you have the potential to detect any issues that may arise. The earlier you catch problems, the easier it will be to fix them before they hurt your business’ reputation or harm your bottom line. Contact us today!

Wellstar Health System Reveals Data Breach

Wellstar Health System Reveals Data Breach

How to avoid being the next Wellstar Health SystemsWellstar Health System announced on Friday afternoon that its email system had been hacked.

Well, it happened again. A data breach occurred at yet another healthcare firm. This time, it was Wellstar Health System. Unauthorized attackers obtained access to two email accounts two months ago, the organization discovered on Friday. Through those email accounts, gained access to patients’ health care information and it was exposed, including patient laboratory information. They missed the 2021 Healthcare Data Breach Trend Report from Protected Harbor at HIMSS.

Emails are one of the most common ways that hackers access sensitive information. This is because people often use their work email for personal purposes, so it is easier to get access to it. Hackers can use different methods and tricks to an email account. They might trick health workers into sharing their passwords, or they could send them a virus that tries to steal employee passwords from company computers.

If you are reading this, you understand that it’s essential to keep any critical emails secure when handling sensitive information. After all, Patient Health Information (PHI) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) can earn a few hundred dollars each on the dark web. That means healthcare employees are more targeted by hackers. And still, many healthcare organizations are not taking the proper steps to protect company email from hacking.

This article will go over how to defend yourself against important threats and what email security precautions you should take.

Install the Right Software

One of the essential email security precautions you can take is installing the right software to protect your emails. Many software options offer various levels of protection, so find out which one will work best for your needs. If you’re in healthcare, consider higher levels of security because you have a lot more sensitive information. Healthcare IT staff may also want to invest in Malwarebytes, a well-rounded antivirus solution, to provide another layer of protection against hacking.

Spam Hero is a software that looks for spam scans messages for infections before it reaches the Stopping malware emails before reaching an inbox can help keep hackers out of any sensitive documents you may come across in the future. Think how many emails with attachments are sent each day; if they were all scanned before recipients could open them, this would significantly decrease the chances of hackers getting a hold of sensitive information like PHI and EHR.

Monitor Your Inbox Activities

One of your email inboxes has received ten emails in one day. However, you only get about two a day, you do not remember sending out any emails that day, and it’s a Sunday. Is there a cybersecurity breach on your network? It could indicate that someone is trying to gain access to company information and has begun by accessing people’s email accounts. Monitor account activity regularly, and if you notice anything suspicious, have a playbook to implement additional security measures if you see something odd. Set up a new email address if necessary and measures such as multifactor authentication or changing all passwords. It is also important to routinely change passwords, even when there is no evidence of a breach; no system is perfect, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Educate your Employees & Staff

As exposed recently, hackers find new ways to trick healthcare employees into giving up sensitive information. Here are four easy things every HCIT department can do to improve their company’s employee cyber safety awareness:

  1. Encourage employees to come forward if they suspect an email of being bogus.
  2. Educate employees on what dangerous emails might look like. A recent study showed that over a quarter of doctors could not identify a malware email.
  3. Tell your employees not to open attachments unless 100% confident that it is a trusted source. Installing a filter those auto-checks attachments is even better.
  4. Have an Email Password Checklist for all of your employees.

We all have complex emails, but make it a requirement, set up failsafes to avoid re-used passwords, and help make it easier for your staff with some tips and how-tos. These simple tips will help protect against email cyber-attacks.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is a great way to add an extra layer of security to your online accounts and protect yourself against email cyber-attacks. 2FA prevents hackers from simply guessing passwords and lets you focus on protecting other healthcare network vulnerabilities. By implementing these simple steps, you can protect your business and its data without adding too much time or hassle into everyday workflows.

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from hacking is to turn on two-factor authentication. 2FA will help ensure your information is more secure, and it doesn’t take much more time or effort than what you were doing before.

You might think it’s unnecessary to use two-step verification when you already have high-end cybersecurity software, but that is not true. Software and two-step verification work together to make sure your information is safe. A bad actor can bypass a security measure, so it’s necessary to have other protections in place too. This is where software and 2FA come in handy again.

Wellstar Health System featureUse Encryption

One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from hackers is by using encryption. Encryption scrambles the content of your email so that only you and the intended recipient can read it. It means that if a hacker does manage to intercept your email, they won’t be able to understand what it says. Even if they could break the encryption, any sensitive information in your email will be rendered indecipherable.

One such solution is ProtonMail, a secure email service that encrypts all of your messages by default. The only person who can decrypt your email is someone you sent it to or someone in the same organization (if they have a shared account).

Protect your Physical Computer and Network

Cybersecurity does not produce images of big burly security guards, but physical computer and network safety are just as crucial as virtual. This means having physical security checkpoints at entrances and exits of your healthcare organization. It would help if you also were careful about which devices employees plug into the network. Just because a power strip is plugged in doesn’t mean that it’s safe to plug in their mobile device.

Auto-lock and Remote Wipe Apps

Just think of how many texts you receive each day. You might likely be one of the unlucky people who have had their phone hacked. All someone needs to do is get a hold of your phone, and they can easily access any sensitive information on it, including work passwords. It may seem like locking your phone is a no-brainer, but not every employee does it. If your company hands out company phones or lets employees use their personal phones for work email, then decrease the auto-lock time to 30 seconds and install remote wiping.

Remote wipe is a security feature that allows a network administrator or device owner to send a command to a computer device that erases data. It’s usually used to wipe data from a lost or stolen device so that the information isn’t jeopardized if it comes into the wrong hands. It can also be used to erase data from a device that has changed owners or administrators and is no longer accessible physically.

Closing Thoughts

There are no easy answers when it comes to healthcare cybersecurity and email security. All of the things described above, and more, could have been performed by Wellstar Health System. Finally, attacks are growing more sophisticated, data is becoming more readily available, network connection points are rising, and healthcare IT professionals are being spread thin. When it comes to safeguarding your healthcare networks and servers, the first step is to determine which employees have access to sensitive information and which staff require specific data access.

Any strategy must also be adaptable and responsive to changes as they occur. Protected Harbor focuses on more than just software but hardware integration, special application connectivity, and employee workflows to create an always-safe environment. It is likely that at some point, HCIT will need to seek professional help to tackle the security breaches, so it is better to assign the task of managing the system security to an external agency. This way, you will no longer have to worry about data and network security, and your team will be able to focus on medical-related tasks.

An experienced, outside partner can help you see the bigger picture. Protected Harbor has the best practice knowledge on securing managed file transfers, HIPAA-compliant emails, data management, and security. We make sure your data is safe by using robust auditing and encryption technology that meets or exceeds HIPAA requirements for healthcare organizations.

Check out our 2021 Healthcare Data Breach Trend Report from HIMSS and our free eBook Optimizing the Healthcare Stack for Performance to learn more. We are also offering free IT Audits to all healthcare organizations for the next month following this attack. Reach out to schedule one today.