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Protected Harbor Announced as a Best Managed Service Companies by Design Rush

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Protected Harbor Announced as a Best Managed Service Companies by Design Rush

The leading healthcare IT services provider, Protected Harbor, has been recognized as one of the Best Managed Service Companies by DesignRush, a B2B (Business to Business) marketplace for agencies. This award is based on average feedback scores, team size, client reviews, expertise, portfolios and more.

“We pride ourselves on our commitment to our customers and our ability to innovate based on their needs. We are grateful to be recognized for our efforts,” said Protected Harbor CEO, Richard Luna. “

Previously, Protected Harbor was also recognized as a top cloud computing company in the US by Goodfirms.

Protected Harbor, a leading Managed IT Services Company for healthcare organizations, medical practices, and non-profits, was chosen by DesignRush for demonstrating a commitment to providing robust, reliable, and secure on-premise, private cloud, and remote managed services. DesignRush helps in assisting companies with selecting the ideal firm that can best represent their brand, comprehend their objectives and collaborate successfully with them. Protected Harbor’s 90+ Net Promoter Score for their Managed IT Services, Network and Infrastructure Services, IT Help Desk, and IT Support made the company a perfect fit.

Protected Harbor helps local and national organizations use technology to power their purpose, and harness smart IT services and strategy to harness technology to meet their mission. The company has more than 14 years’ experience deploying advanced engineering solutions centered on collaboration, cloud migration, networking, cyber security, and Managed Services. With Protected Harbor, businesses and organizations can have peace of mind, knowing their data is secure and teams are productive.

The award of Best Managed Service Companies by DesignRush recognizes Protected Harbor as a top IT Company and technology consultants whose forward-thinking approach to providing managed services is changing the landscape of the business technology. With digital and technological techniques that support your company’s objectives, Protected Harbor’s IT specialists will help to reduce stressful day-to-day tech issues, minimize any costly downtime, and improve operational maturity.

Like many other local IT companies, Protected Harbor helps with everything from IT support, remote workforce solutions, and IT infrastructure to cloud migration, VoIP phone systems, and data center hosting. But unlike traditional MSP’s, we pride ourselves on our customer’s happiness. That’s why we ensure our 24/7/365 customer service is second to none. Whenever you need us, we’re always here. Got a problem at 2:00 am? A live person will be there to answer your call and resolve the issue before sun-up.

Protected Harbor’s approach to customer service goes beyond just solving problems and closing tickets. We aim to connect on a human level, getting to know you and your business so we can function like an extension of your team. That is why over 90% of our business comes from client referrals, and we have a 98% customer retention rate. Protected Harbor is the last I.T. company you will ever have to hire. Contact our team today to experience what a true partnership, and excellence in customer service is like.

How Does the Dobbs Ruling Affect Healthcare IT and Patient Record Security?

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How the Dobbs Ruling affects Healthcare IT and Patient Record Security

The apex court of the US recently overturned Roe v. Wade(1973) and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey(1992) in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org (2022). The court returned the responsibility for controlling abortion to the individual states after concluding that the US Constitution does not provide a right to abortion.

For healthcare organizations countrywide, the seismic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision by the Supreme Court has caused upheaval and confusion regarding patient privacy issues and providers’ obligations for data protection.

If you are a healthcare provider, the Dobbs ruling will not impact your ability to use electronic health records or to communicate and share that information with other providers. This ruling only applies to patient information, not in an “active clinical setting,” Any documents transmitted outside of these settings must still be protected health information under HIPAA.

Question of Vulnerability of Reproductive Health after the Decision

In addition to the decision’s clear systemic ramifications, Dobbs has presented several difficulties for pharmacies and prompted concerns about adhering to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy regulations.

Many reproductive health proponents of HHC have expressed concerns about protecting reproductive health information after last month’s decision. This includes information saved in period tracking apps, text messages, web search history, and other places.

Modern Healthcare fears using the information to prosecute those who seek an abortion or even medical attention after a miscarriage and those who help them. Right now, HIPAA only protects the privacy of health information gathered by covered entities, such as health plans, clearinghouses for health information, and healthcare providers. Data collected by electronic devices and outside apps or organizations are not covered.

How the Dobbs Ruling affects Healthcare ITResponse of Organizations

In the wake of the decision, several companies have taken steps to preserve and prevent using their users’ health data, particularly those about reproductive care. For example, Google announced that it would remove the location information if its search engine determined that a user visited an abortion clinic or another medical facility.

According to Planned Parenthood, a breach of protected health information has not occurred. It deleted marketing trackers from its search sites for abortions that shared data with third-party companies out of caution. It also mentioned that it offers a different appointment scheduling and confirmation tool that is, according to it, HIPAA-compliant.

Similarly, Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties organization, advised users to pay attention to privacy settings on their services, switch off location services on apps that don’t need them, and utilize encrypted messaging services to protect their electronic health data.

Some applications for tracking periods have also made efforts to reassure their users that their health information is safe and secure. As an illustration, Flo said it is creating an “anonymous mode” that will let users delete their names, email addresses, and other unique identifiers from their profiles.

Response of the Government

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published guidance on June 29, 2022, outlining how HIPAA constricts disclosures by covered entities and business associates to law enforcement agencies without a court order or other legal mandate.

In light of new state laws forbidding abortion, the guideline offers valuable insight into how OCR may employ HIPAA enforcement to prevent illegal disclosures of protected health information (PHI) to law enforcement personnel.

OCR makes it plain that it wants to protect the privacy of people getting abortions and other reproductive health care. According to OCR, regulations that forbid specific conduct do not authorize the sharing of Personal Health Information(PHI) concerning an individual and such prohibited behavior. Instead, all other requirements in the HIPAA Privacy Rule must be followed, and the law must expressly require such disclosure or disclosure following a legally recognized process. The guidance states that disclosure is only allowed without causing a HIPAA breach.

However, depending on the state, laws that permit criminal or civil action against

  • Someone who seeks an abortion
  • Someone who performs an abortion,
  • Someone who provides the means for an abortion may be used as the justification for revealing PHI for law enforcement purposes, and in states where relevant laws are in force, disclosures may be allowed.

Therefore, HIPAA may not offer the amount of protection against disclosure of PHI that may be inferred based on OCR’s recommendations in light of new state laws that forbid particular conduct by third parties.

To avoid unauthorized disclosure of PHI and HIPAA violations, healthcare organizations should caution their employees and providers not to conflate mandatory reporting laws with state laws that forbid abortion. They should also remind them that legal counsel should review any mandatory reporting. Otherwise, there is a chance of breaking federal or state laws requiring secrecy.

In a nutshell, OCR’s guidance reminds consumers that HIPAA protections do not apply to apps used on personal devices like smartphones that are not directly offered by a Covered Entity or its Business Associate. This covers the numerous applications that provide healthcare-related services but are not offered by Covered Entities, such as period trackers.

However, disclosures needed by law or for law enforcement purposes may apply to Covered Entities and their Business Associates. Additionally, HIPAA does not apply to cell phone service providers, and HIPAA generally does not protect communications made using a mobile device, including calls, messages, and emails. Due to these factors, it will be crucial for people to decide whether and how to communicate with providers electronically for tasks like scheduling appointments.

If privacy is an issue, people should also limit the amount of personal information shared through mobile devices, including apps that might offer health-related services but are not provided through Covered Entities.

Final Words

Regulations concerning data privacy will continue to change in the wake of the Dobbs ruling. Legal counsel should be consulted before pharmaceutical shops or businesses disclose PHI to stay current on the legal climate and guidelines. Reproductive health information will remain a significant concern for patients and application users.

The healthcare industry and application developers should consider updating their online privacy policies to address potential patient and user privacy concerns. Law enforcement agencies should not overstate the protections provided under HIPAA and other state privacy laws against disclosing health information.

With a vision to make the world a healthier place, Protected Harbor’s products are designed to secure and protect the health information of patients and providers in the hospital and clinical environments.

We offer tailored solutions to protect healthcare organizations against current and future cyber threats. Our offerings include network securityendpoint protection, remote monitoring and management, and other cybersecurity services. We have a team of certified engineers who are experts in their fields. A continuous learning and improvement culture helps us stay updated with evolving technological trends and best practices. We are focused on improving the health and wellness of our customers and their customers, which we accomplish by building trust, reliability, and transparency in every aspect of our service.

We are working to protect millions of Americans’ health information and critical data. Contact us today for a free security risk assessment.

The Recent Medical Data Leaks and What You Can Do About It

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Did you know that medical data is the new gold? Unencrypted patient records are worth $300 billion, and that number will keep growing. This blog will explore the recent medical data leaks and their potential consequences. You’ll also learn how to protect your sensitive information — so you can avoid being one of the many victims of medical data breaches.

A recent study by Comparitech covered breaches. Their team of researchers analyzed data from 2009 to June 2022 to find out which US states suffer the most medical breaches and how many records have been affected each year. They also looked at breaches from January 2021 to June 2022 to find the most significant cause of these breaches and the most-affected healthcare organizations.

Key Findings

  • In 2017 alone, there were over 2,800 data breaches, affecting over 178 million patients in the US alone.
  • More than half of data breach victims don’t even know they’ve been affected.
  • Only 13% of healthcare providers offer free identity protection services.
  • Over 50% of data breach victims do not change their passwords after a breach.
  • 4,746 medical breaches were reported between 2009 and June 2022.
  • These breaches affected 342,017,215 user records.
  • 803 documented medical breaches made 2020 the year with the most (the second-highest was 2021 with 711).
  • With almost 112 million records affected overall, 2015 saw the most records affected.
  • Hospital networks are responsible for the most records that have been compromised in 2021 and 2022 (so far), accounting for 8.8 million records (16 percent of all records affected). Specialist clinics—clinics that specialize in a particular area of medicine—account for the most data breaches (15 percent), with 130 breached entities overall.
  • Hacking was the most frequent breach in 2021 and 2022 (so far), making up 40% of breaches (353 out of 862).

Top 5 Medical Data Breachesthe recent medical data leaks

Anthem  Inc. – The second-largest health insurance company in the US, was hit with a massive data breach in 2015 – one of the largest on record (78.8 Million records).

Optum360 LLC- From August 2018 to March 2019, hackers gained access to the sensitive financial and personal data of 11.5 million lab patients at the American Medical Collection Agency.

Excellus Health – This breach affected 10 million people and was discovered two months after the Anthem breach was announced.

Premera Blue Cross – This breach impacted 11 million people and was caused by malware that was used for two months. Premera Blue Cross was compelled to pay the OCR $6.85 million.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings- In 2019, A hacker gained access to the American Medical Collection Agency, a third party it employed for payments. Over 10.2 million people’s personal, financial, and medical information was compromised.

Biggest Years for Medical Data Breaches

The year with the most medical data breaches, with an overall total of 803, was 2020. A significant number of breaches were also reported in 2021 (711), closely followed by 2019 (520). This demonstrates the exponential growth in medical data breaches over the past three years.

The median number of records affected by each breach between 2009 and 2018 remained roughly 2,000 when we looked at the median number of records affected for each year. In 2019, there was a significant increase from 2018. (rising by 70 percent from 2,284 to 3,893). This persisted through 2020 (with a rise of 26% from 3,893 to 4,916) and from 2021 to 2022. (rising by 4 percent up to 5,122).

Why the increase in data breaches? There are many reasons, including the fact that the healthcare industry is growing, more people are using the Internet, and more sensitive data is being exchanged online. The healthcare industry is still struggling to adapt to the cyber threat landscape.

Most Common Data Breach Type

Data breaches are rising, and data loss is becoming more common. But what type of data breaches are most prevalent in the healthcare sector? Healthcare providers losing control of their data is a common occurrence nowadays.

With 288 out of 711 breaches (41 percent) in 2021 involving medical companies, hacking emerged as the most prevalent method. With 161 attacks (23% of all attacks, excluding unknowns), ransomware was the next most prevalent category. Theft of data is the third most prevalent type of data breach.

2022 for Medical Data Breaches

151 documented medical data breaches impacted 7,997,739 records during the first half of 2022. Even if these numbers seem low, they may increase over the next few months.  Perhaps more focused attacks are the cause of this. This is evident from the MCG Health data leak. The software provider revealed that its systems were breached through unauthorized access on June 10 this year. Nearly 800,000 records have been affected by the breach on MCG Health, and at least eight organizations have reported it thus far.

Conclusion

The healthcare sector is under attack, and the threat is likely to grow as time goes on. The best way to protect sensitive information is to prepare in advance. Encrypt the data before sending it over the Internet or storing it on a device. This protective measure can be applied to nearly any data type, preventing unauthorized individuals from accessing the information.

Protected Harbor helps companies prevent cyber breaches, data loss, and regulatory non-compliance by offering security solutions such as data monitoring, cloud security, and DLP. Our clients include small businesses, enterprises, healthcare, and government agencies.

Protected Harbor is one of the top cybersecurity providers trusted by thousands of businesses across the country for offering robust cybersecurity solutions. With our expert team of engineers and technicians, you can be assured complete security for your business.

Get a free cybersecurity and ransomware audit today and get cyber-secured

IT Security Incident Affects Multiple Facilities Across CommonSpirit Health

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IT Security Incident Affects Multiple Facilities Across CommonSpirit Health

One of the most significant health systems in the country, CommonSpirit Health, said that the IT security breach happened on Monday, October 3, 2022.

CommonSpirit Health, a faith-based healthcare organization, located throughout the Midwest, recently experienced an unfortunate security incident. At first glance, this security incident may appear innocuous since it only involved exposing sensitive patient information. However, the ramifications extend far beyond a breach of privacy.

In light of these developments, we have compiled a brief overview of the CommonSpirit Health IT security incident to help you identify potential vulnerabilities in your environment.

What Happened?

According to reports, a hack on CommonSpirit Health System that is still ongoing compromised facilities in Tennessee, Nebraska, and Washington. EHRs (Electronic Health Records) are currently among the offline IT systems, and patient visits have since been rescheduled.

The number of facilities impacted by the issue, which started on Monday, is still unknown, as is the number of patient records.

According to a statement from CommonSpirit, “as a result of this situation, we have rescheduled some patient visits in several of our communities.” If a patient’s appointment is impacted, their provider and care facility will contact them directly.

One of the largest health systems in the nation, based in Chicago, runs 142 hospitals and more than 2,200 care facilities throughout 21 states.

It stated, “We take our responsibility to safeguard patient privacy and IT security very seriously.”

According to CHI (Catholic Health Initiatives), the facilities are adhering to procedures for system failures and “[are] taking steps to minimize the disturbance.”

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Why This Matters?

In 2019, Trinity Health and CHI merged to create CommonSpirit Health, a new nonprofit Catholic health system with a presence in 21 states.

According to The Chattanoogan.com in Tennessee, the hacking attack impacted the neighborhood of CHI Memorial hospital. According to the report, CHI officials said several patient procedures had to be rescheduled, and some systems had to be shut down.

The Virginia Mason Franciscan Health in Seattle has also stated that the outage has affected their systems. St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma is one of the hospitals and clinics in the Puget Sound region run by VMFH. Given this, patients could not access MyChart, an online patient portal.

CommonSpirit is one of several renowned nonprofit health systems reporting significant losses for the most recent fiscal year.

In 2022, the company recorded losses of $1.85 billion.

Wright Lassiter, formerly with Henry Ford Health, was recently named by
CommonSpirit as its new CEO and Lloyd Dean’s replacement.

Protected Harbor’s Take on the Matter

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? Well, this holds true when it comes to cybersecurity as well as in the case of the CommonSpirit health incident. Even the most diligent and well-intentioned companies can be the victim of a data breach. With the GDPR in effect, it’s now a matter of public record if your data has been stolen.” – Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor.

It is a proven fact that most cyberattacks happen due to negligence. Therefore, it is imperative to have a reliable security system to protect you from all sorts of online threats. At the same time, it is equally essential for you to keep your operating systems, antiviruses, firewalls, and patches up to date with the latest versions available. Without regular updates, your system can become vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Therefore, it is essential that you keep track of all the updates and install them at the right time.

MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) and IAM (Identity Access Management) are the primary security requirements we suggest all businesses implement to have an extra layer of security.

Cybersecurity awareness should be an integral part of your business plan. It doesn’t matter if you are a large corporation or a small business; cybersecurity is critical for everyone.

For more information, check out a quick guide to proactive cybersecurity measures.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, many businesses are unaware of the significance a robust security plan has and thus remain vulnerable to cyber threats. If you are concerned about your business’s security and want a foolproof security plan, then hiring an expert can help you.

Protected Harbor offers a range of security services, including a Web Application Firewall (WAF), data breach response, email security, ransomware security, and cloud security to businesses of all sizes. We keep your data and systems secure, help you comply with regulations, and meet your documentation requirements. Our products are easy to use and come with 24/7 support.

Our focus on ease of use, transparency, and value for your dollar sets us apart from the competition. Protected Harbor is one of the best-reviewed cybersecurity providers. We have a 90+ Net Promoter Score.

Even if you feel you have a solid security plan, it can’t work if it’s not in use. A security audit of your network and systems is equally as important. With that being said, Protected Harbor is here to help and will be offering free cybersecurity assessments for all healthcare providers. Contact us today.

Understanding the Risks of Cloud Migration and Security Measures to Mitigate Them

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UNDERSTANDING-THE-RISKS-OF-CLOUD-MIGRATION

Thanks to our experts at Protected Harbor, we’ve released a new infographic that can help your organization or business to reduce your cloud migration security risks. This infographic includes key security tips and advice to help you make the right cloud migration decisions. Download the infographic now to learn more! And don’t forget to visit our blog for more tips and advice.

As your organization evaluates cloud migration, it’s critical to understand the risks. Security is a top concern for many businesses, so before you move your company’s data and services to the cloud, you must understand how to mitigate any potential risk. Understanding cloud security risks is essential for an effective migration strategy. The first step in this process is understanding the potential risks of migrating your organization to the cloud. After all, not every business can trust third parties with their data. But with the proper security measures in place, moving to a cloud platform can benefit almost any business. Download our infographic to understand how to reduce cloud migration security risks in a quick overview, and continue reading the blog for more information.

What Is Cloud Migration?

Moving apps, data, and other digital assets from an on-premises data center to the cloud is known as cloud migration. These may be programs that have been specially created for the organizations or ones that they have licensed from a different vendor. There are various methods for moving to the cloud, including:

  • “Lift and shift” refer to moving apps as-is.
  • Modifying applications slightly to facilitate their cloud migration
  • Application rebuilding or remodeling to make them more suitable for a cloud environment
  • Changing from legacy applications that don’t support the cloud to new ones that cloud vendors offer.
  • “Cloud-native development” refers to the process of creating new cloud-based apps

What are the Key Benefits of Cloud Migration?

The advantages of the cloud, which include hosting applications and data in a highly effective IT environment that can increase factors like cost, performance, and security, are the overarching goal of most cloud migrations.

Elastic scalability, a need to reduce costs or convert from a capital expenditure to an operating expenses model, and a requirement for new technologies, services, or features only available in a cloud environment are essential drivers for cloud migration.

The flexibility of corporate IT teams to deliver new services and expand the company to meet changing business requirements is enhanced by cloud computing, which is maybe even more significant.

Security Risks of Cloud Migration

Because cloud migration is susceptible to several attacks, careful planning is required. Sensitive data is exchanged during migration, leaving it open to attack. Additionally, attackers may obtain access to unsecured development, test, or production environments at different points in a migration project.

Misconfigurations-Your-Cloud-Migration

Plan your cloud migration efforts in advance of the following dangers:

Application Programming Interface (API) vulnerabilities: APIs serve as communication routes between environments. At every step of the cloud migration process, APIs must be protected.

Blind spots: Using the cloud requires giving up some operational control. Before migrating, check the security your cloud provider offers and how to enhance it with supplemental third-party security solutions.

Compliance requirements: Verify that your intended cloud environment complies with the necessary standards. This comprises the organization’s protocols for ensuring the security of cloud workloads, data, and access, as well as compliance certifications issued by the cloud provider. As part of the standards for compliance, all of these may be audited and will be.

Unchecked Growth: Moving to the cloud is a continuous process. The company will probably add more resources, use new cloud services, and add more apps after moving applications to the cloud. Once SaaS apps are up and operating in the cloud, it is normal to begin employing more SaaS applications. There is a significant operational problem in securing these new services and applications effectively.

Data loss: Moving to the cloud requires the transfer of data. If there are issues with the migration process, it is crucial to ensure that data is backed up. With rigorous key management, all data is transferred across encrypted channels.

5 Ways to Mitigate Cloud Migration Security Risks

Here are a few best practices that can help improve security during and after cloud migrations:

  1. Develop a Plan– Planning before migration and executing successfully is essential. Use automated tools and optimization, and outline the expertise, resources, and tooling you need to get started.
  2. Start Small- To reduce the fear and accelerate cloud adoption, start with an automatic workload lift and shift over in small portions.
  3. Leverage SaaS Adoption– Utilize your business units to promote cloud adoption by investing in Software-as-a-Service.
  4. Set Security Standards– Develop baseline security standards by collaborating with your governance team.
  5. Use Managed Services- Organizations should monitor their cloud security posture from the control plan to asset configuration. They can partner with a Managed Services Provider for efficient migration.

Conclusion

Migrating to the cloud can be a great way to boost your company’s productivity and scalability. But it’s essential to understand the security risks first. The best way to mitigate these risks is to work with a reputable cloud provider committed to data security. Having the right security practices in place for your team is also important. With the proper security measures, you can enjoy all the benefits of migrating to the cloud. That’s why we have created an infographic to help you out. Download today and get started with your cloud migration.

Cloud Application Migration Fear

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Many organizations fear migrating their applications to the cloud because it can be an extremely challenging and complex task. This process will require proper planning, effort, and time in order for it to be successful.

The security measures, as well as practices that organizations have built for their on-premise infrastructure, do not coincide with what they require in the cloud, where everything is deeply integrated.

Before streamlining your workflow with cloud computing, you must be aware of the most challenging security risks and how to avoid them. Let’s explore how organizations should approach the security aspects of cloud migration, from API integration to access control and continuous monitoring.

This article will highlight some of the most common fears organizations have while moving from on-premise infrastructure to a cloud environment.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving data, programs, and other business components into a cloud computing environment.

A business can carry out a variety of cloud migrations.

One typical model for cloud migration involves moving data and applications from an on-premises data center to the cloud, but it is also possible to move data and applications across different cloud platforms or providers. Cloud-to-cloud migration is the term for this second situation.

Another kind of migration is reverse cloud migration, commonly referred to as cloud repatriation. From one cloud platform to another, data or applications are transferred in this case.

Cloud migration, however, might not be suitable for everyone.

Scalable, reliable, and highly available cloud environments are feasible. These, however, are not the only considerations that will influence your choice.

Why is Security in the Cloud the Biggest Fear for Organizations?

The reason why security is the biggest challenge organizations face is that public clouds offer shared resources among different users and use virtualization. The ease of data sharing in the cloud creates serious security concerns regarding data leakage and loss.

The major risk in any infrastructure is neglecting security vulnerabilities due to a lack of expertise, resources, and visibility. Most

providers contain various processing and cloud storage services. Therefore, it’s easy for hackers to expose data via poorly configured access controls, data protection measures, and encryption.

Most Common Exposure Points for Cloud-based Applications

Overcoming cloud migration challenges before they arise can help any organization to migrate smoothly and save them from potential cyber threats. But first, we need to understand the weak links and exposure points that can put security at risk.

Let’s discuss the weakest links that cause cloud application migration fears:

1. Data Theft Causes Unauthorized Access

Providing administrative access to cloud vendors poses serious threats to the organization. Criminals are gaining access to programs like Office 365 through installations that give them administrative rights. In fact, very recently a phishing campaign leveraging a legitimate organization’s Office 365 infrastructure for email management has surfaced on the cyber scam scene.
Hackers are always evolving their phishing tactics, and everything they do is seen as being smarter and more sophisticated.

If criminals get access to users’ cloud credentials, they can access the CSP’s (Cloud Solution Provider’s) services for gaining additional resources. They could even leverage those cloud resources to target the company’s administrative users and other organizations using the same service provider.
Basically, an intruder who obtains CSP admin cloud credentials can use them to access the organization’s systems and data.

2. Third-party Products Comes With Security Risks

Organizations outsource information security management to third-party vendors. It reduces the internal cybersecurity burden but generates its own set of security risks. In other words, the cybersecurity burden shifts from an organization’s internal operations onto its third-party vendors. However, leveraging third-party services or products may come with compliance risks, business continuity risks, mobile devices risks, and so on.

Last year, SolarWinds, a famous monitoring tool based on an open-source software had been compromise by the Russian Intelligence Service. They had created a backdoor within the coding and submitted it into the base product. Hackers used a regular software update in order to inject malicious coding into Orion’s own software to use for cyberattacks.

Vulnerable applications are entry points for cybercriminals. They are always in search of weak spots to infiltrate the system. Applications are used in every industry for better workflow and management. However, there is a need to protect these applications by limiting their access and implementing available patches for better security. Frequent updating of applications and systems helps to protect your IT infrastructure from potential attacks.

3. Hackers Can Compromise Vulnerable VPN Devices

VPNs (Virtual Private Network’s) provide an encrypted connection that hides your online data from attackers and allows businesses to protect their private cloud resources. Many cloud applications need a VPN to transfer data from on-premises infrastructures to the cloud. VPNs are configured to operate one way, but they are often bidirectional. This often opens your organization up to an attack occurring in the cloud service provider.

One such attack has been observed where cybercriminals exploit VPN servers’ vulnerabilities to encrypt the network with a new ransomware variant. By exploiting unpatched VPN applications, hackers can remotely access critical information, such as usernames or passwords, and allows them to log in to the network manually.

Reconfiguring a VPN to access a newly relocated app in the cloud can be disruptive and complicated for its users. Most people don’t use VPNs for cloud application migration because they don’t trust them.

It’s better to install on-site hardware, build VPNs’ deployment on that hardware, migrate them into the on-site deployment, and then move the VMs (Virtual Machines) into a data center. This can be achieved by enabling transparent, unfiltered connectivity between environments. Enterprise cloud VPN can achieve this configuration between a cloud network and an on-premises network.

4. Accidental Exposure of User Credentials

Cybercriminals generally leverage cloud applications as a pretext in their phishing attacks. With the rapid use of cloud-based emails and document sharing services, employees have become habitual of receiving emails with links asking them to confirm their credentials before accessing a particular site or document.

This type of confirmation in particular makes it easy for intruders to get employees’ credentials for their company’s cloud services. Therefore, accidental exposure of credentials in the cloud is a major concern for organizations because it can potentially compromise the security and privacy of cloud-based data and resources.

5. Lack of Secure API

Using API (Application User Interface) in the cloud allows organizations to implement better controls for their applications and systems. However, using insecure APIs can come with grave security risks. The vulnerabilities that exist within these APIs can provide an entry point for intruders to steal critical data, manipulate services, and do reputational harm.

Insecure APIs can cause security misconfigurations, broken authentications, exposed data, broken function-level authorization, and asset mismanagement. The most common example of an insecure API is the Facebook-Cambridge Analytical Scandal which allowed for Cambridge Analytica to access Facebook user data.

How to Reduce Cloud Migration Security Risks?

Organizations can take various steps when it comes to mitigating cloud migration security risks. Here are some recommendations on how to migrate your applications to the cloud.

1. Develop a Plan

Outline the expertise, resources, and tooling you need to get started. Use automated tools supporting optimization and data discovery analysis to define the right migration method for your company.

2. Start Small

To reduce the fear and accelerate cloud adoption, start with an automatic workload lift and shift over in small portions. It helps to introduce cloud benefits and security risks. Moreover, this approach reduces uncertainty and lets organizations benefit from infrastructure savings.

3. Leverage Business Units to Drive Cloud Adoption

Utilize your business units to promote cloud adoption by investing in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This does not require any rewriting of your applications. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) already exists and is running in the cloud which lets you decommission on-premises CRM and is easier than full on-board migration.

4. Make a Set of Security Standards

Develop baseline security standards by collaborating with your governance team. The list must include cloud workload vulnerability posture, control plane configuration, and cloud infrastructure privilege assignment.

5. Invest in Cloud Security Management

Organizations should monitor their cloud security posture from the control plane to asset configuration. When your cloud deployments increase in complexity and numbers, a service tracking all configuration settings becomes valuable to detect any misconfigurations causing security vulnerabilities.

Ready to Migrate Your Applications to the Cloud?

Most organizations lack the experience and confidence to migrate to the cloud fearing the associated risks that come with it. The reason is that they don’t have the right time and resources in place to facilitate the move.

Leveraging partners and service providers can help to overcome those fears and make the cloud application migration smoother for your organization. With the support of Protected Harbor

Cloud Migration Services, our clients can transform their existing apps and achieve “future-ready” business outcomes. These services range from planning to execution. Our comprehensive strategy is supported by the understanding that successful modernization uptake requires a diverse blend of suitable solutions with a range of risk and reward profiles.

Our enterprise application migration services offer thorough, extensive, reliable procedures for transferring sizable application portfolios to cloud platforms, and they are easily scalable from one to many apps. We can assist you with application inventory, assessment, code analysis, migration planning, and execution using our tried-and-true tools.

We provide deep industry expertise and a robust set of advanced tools. Experts at Protected Harbor migrate your applications to the cloud and help you to increase and optimize the productivity as well as the flexibility of your workforce. Visit here to get more information about Protected Harbor’s cloud services.

Cybersecurity Risks of 3rd Party Cloud-Apps in 2022

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Healthcare-Data-Breaches

Healthcare data breaches are at an all-time high. The Ponemon Institute found that 66% of healthcare organizations experienced a breach of patient data in the past 12 months. And due to recent software vulnerabilities and cyberattacks on healthcare companies, we predict these numbers will continue to rise. The crux of the problem is that most healthcare vendors operate as a closed system that doesn’t sync with other systems outside of their ecosystem. If a vendor is breached, it almost always leads to a data breach for its partners. As such, healthcare organizations must modify their current strategy and begin working with third-party vendors who have a vested interest in protecting their sensitive information. Doing so will help cut down on the number of breaches being reported and improve operational efficiency across the board.

3rd party cloud apps are becoming more common in enterprise software as companies look to save money and time by outsourcing their software. However, businesses need to be aware of the cybersecurity risks of using these apps. Companies can use various best practices to protect themselves from 3rd party cloud app cyber risks.

We are excited to announce our white paper- Cybersecurity Risks of 3rd Party Cloud Apps in 2022. We have done the research so that you don’t have to, the white paper discusses the top cybersecurity threats, data breach trends in 2022, and how to stay safe. Download our white paper today to learn about 3rd party cloud apps.

 

TOP 3 CYBERSECURITY THREATS

These are the worst offenders regarding security threats in the healthcare industry.

Malicious Network Traffic- According to a 2019 analysis by Verizon, 81 percent of cybersecurity problems in healthcare are caused by privilege misuse, web apps, and other issues. Even though this form of malicious network activity may not be as well-planned as a full-scale ransomware operation, its presence in the sector should raise alarm bells for healthcare providers.

Ransomware Threat-  It prevents or restricts users from accessing computer systems by locking out or corrupting the data until a ransom is paid. Usually, the only way to unlock the system is to pay the ransom, hence the name “ransomware.”

Phishing Scams- Phishing is the process of requesting sensitive information through correspondence that claims to be from a reputable source, such as a mortgage business or official government webpage. This often comprises a personal identification number, login information, and payment information.

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THESE ARE THE DATA BREACH TRENDS WE EXPECT TO SEE IN 2022

  • Increased Healthcare Breach Notification Laws- The number of healthcare breach notification laws continues to grow. As such, we expect breach notification laws to become more stringent and begin to include stiff fines.
  • The Rise of Cloud-based EHRs- As organizations begin to rely on cloud-based EHRs, we expect data breaches to increase. This is because EHRs are not designed to be safe outside of the organization’s environment. Thus, if a breach does occur, it can quickly spread to other partners and vendors.
  • Increased Focus on Software Application Security Organizations that fail to prioritize application security will pay the price. We expect to see organizations place an increased focus on third-party application security and the security within their own applications. -## TOP 10 Largest Healthcare Data Breaches of Q1 2022

LARGEST HEALTHCARE DATA BREACHES OF Q1 2022

Provider Records Affected
North Broward Hospital District 1351431
Medical Review Institute/ America 134571
Medical Healthcare Solutions 133997
Ravkoo 105000
TTEC Healthcare 86305

As we’ve outlined, healthcare companies have seen a massive increase in data breaches. This is mainly due to SaaS providers’ weak security and inability to protect their customers’ data. Download our white paper to see the complete list of healthcare data breaches in Q1 2022.

SAAS SECURITY THREATS IN HEALTHCARE

The simplicity, usability, and cost advantages of SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions have encouraged healthcare firms to adopt them at a never-before-seen rate. Every healthcare company, however, needs to be aware of a few risks associated with using third-party apps.

Man In the Middle Vulnerabilities: An app and the hospital backend do not directly exchange data. Data is sent back and forth between the two parties via a communication channel. Bad actors can intercept the data at any point along their transit and potentially harm the backend.

Limited Cloud Infrastructure: Because a cloud-based architecture differs from an on-premises data center, traditional security technologies and tactics are frequently unable to defend it successfully. However, nothing you can do will make your third-party software secure if the foundational elements are not correctly set up.

Lack of Regulations: The usage of health data by third-party apps is primarily up to individual businesses rather than established regulations. Cloud service providers are not regarded as business associates under HIPAA and are not covered by HIPAA. Instead, most third-party apps are covered by the FTC Act’s protections and the agency’s authority.

Data Control Issues: A 2019 National Library of Medicine (NLM) study found that 79 percent of healthcare apps resell or share data. There is no law requiring patient consent for this downstream use, which may raise privacy-related concerns.

Inadequate Due Diligence: Organizations fail to do adequate due diligence on their third-party vendors, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks. The Ponemon Institute found that 87% of healthcare organizations fail to perform a third-party risk analysis.

 

HOW CAN HEALTHCARE REDUCE THE RISK OF CYBER-ATTACKS?

The best method to reduce threats is to prevent them. Often, businesses begin by collaborating with their internet service provider (ISP) and hiring a third-party security risk assessment team. The easiest method to lessen risks within your healthcare company is to follow these cybersecurity best practices: Patch management priorities, least access privilege policies, email, and traffic filtering, and many more. Download the white paper to learn more about how businesses can protect patient data.

Examine Third-party IT and Cybersecurity Practices: Audit all vendors’ third-party IT and cybersecurity practices, including software providers. If the vendors fail to meet security standards, terminate contracts and seek new vendors that meet standards.

CONCLUSION

With the increase in the adoption of SaaS and other cloud-based software solutions, a vast amount of sensitive data is now stored in the cloud and is thus made more vulnerable to data breaches. Cloud apps are prone to security breaches due to their shared hosting environments.

Cloud apps are the most likely to cause a data breach due to their very nature. Most of them are designed for ease of use, not security. And even those that are secure by design are often hosted on shared servers, making them a security risk.

Even if you use a secure cloud app, there is always a chance that the service provider itself may be hacked, and your data may end up in the wrong hands. Stay connected with us and keep reading our blogs to know about the latest updates about 3rd party cloud apps. In the meantime, you can download and read the white paper Cybersecurity Risks of 3rd Party Cloud Apps in 2022.

The Top 5 Risks of Cloud Migration

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When it comes to cloud migration, there are plenty of risks involved. Every business considering migrating its IT infrastructure from a traditional data center to a public cloud must identify potential obstacles. After all, it’s not an easy transition, even with the many tools and resources available. A study by New Voice Media found that only 14 percent of companies that had begun transitioning to the cloud completed the process successfully. This means businesses have plenty of opportunities to get things right the first time. With so much information available about how and why companies should migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud, it’s essential to understand which risks need addressing first.

We are excited to announce the ebook “The Top 5 Risks of Cloud Migration”. This ebook will help you to identify the top 5 risks of cloud migration and how to avoid them. You will learn how to protect your data and meet compliance requirements, how to choose the right cloud for your workload, how to manage costs and risks of cloud adoption, how to plan for a successful cloud implementation, and how to avoid common pitfalls during the cloud migration process. You can download this ebook for FREE.

Cloud Migration is Only the Beginning

When companies approach the decision to migrate to the cloud, they often make the mistake of thinking it will solve all of their problems. The most significant risk is that businesses assume they can put off addressing the issues they face today by migrating tomorrow. In reality, migration is only the beginning of a new set of challenges that businesses will need to overcome to ensure their data remains safe and secure in the long term. If a business has a poor security system today, it will have a flawed one tomorrow, regardless of whether the data is hosted on-premises or in the cloud. This is why migration should be seen as a way to improve the business environment, rather than just a quick fix to a single issue.

Why is Security in the Cloud a Challenge?

Migration to the cloud should be considered a long-term investment, not a short-term solution. However, the fact that most organizations are new to the cloud makes it difficult for them to know what to expect. Often, businesses don’t fully understand the risk associated and the potential impact cloud migration could have on their business. Of course, security is the biggest challenge of all. Public cloud data centers are designed for maximum scalability and flexibility, so companies don’t have the same level of control and visibility as they do with their own data centers. Even if a business uses a managed cloud provider, it still has to ensure it applies the proper security measures to keep its data safe.

Data Theft Causes Unauthorized Access

Data theft is a common problem with traditional infrastructure. If a company fails to protect its data, unauthorized access is always a risk. Businesses are no longer in control when that data is migrated to the cloud. When migrating to the cloud, companies often store their data in a third-party facility. This creates a single point of failure; if hackers breach security, they will have access to all the data. This can include all types of information, including personally identifiable data and sensitive client information. If this data is stolen and isn’t encrypted, it can be used for malicious purposes, including identity theft and financial fraud. The potential financial impact on a business can be huge.

Third-Party Product Comes with Security Risks

Third-party products are needed in every aspect of the business. However, they present certain security risks. For example, a third-party VPN device could be easy for hackers to compromise. When migrating to the cloud, it is crucial to understand the security level of third-party products and services. When businesses outsource, they must make sure the service provider uses a secure VPN connection. They should also consider hiring a third-party provider with a secure data center.

Hackers Can Compromise Vulnerable VPN Devices

Virtual private networks, or VPNs, provide a secure connection that keeps your internet data hidden from hackers and enables companies to safeguard their private cloud resources. Many cloud apps require a VPN to transport data from on-premises systems to the cloud. Although they are often bidirectional, VPNs are set up to only work in one direction. This frequently exposes your business to a cloud service provider attack. When hackers break into a VPN device, they can access the data transmitted between a remote user and the data center. This can result in data loss, stolen information, and financial losses.

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Accidental Exposure of User Credentials

Cybercriminals typically use cloud apps as a cover in their phishing assaults.  Due to the widespread usage of cloud-based communications and document sharing services, employees are used to getting emails with links requesting them to validate their credentials before accessing a certain site or document.

Businesses often collect user credentials on the premises, such as passwords and usernames. However, when these credentials are migrated to the cloud, they are stored the same way as the other data. If hackers can access this information, it can result in a severe security breach. If the credentials are stored in plain text, hackers will be able to see them. This is one of the most common ways for hackers to access secure data. A secure migration process involves encrypting the user credentials. However, some companies don’t make this a priority.

Lack of Secure API

An API is essential for connecting different business components, including the CRM and billing systems. If a company doesn’t put security at the forefront when designing its API, it can pose a significant risk to the business. When designing an API, it is crucial to understand the security requirements. This includes authentication, authorization, and session management. If a company overlooks any of these requirements, it can result in a severe breach of security. If the API is easy to compromise, hackers can gain access to sensitive data in the cloud. The Facebook-Cambridge Analytical Scandal, which gave Cambridge Analytica access to Facebook user data, is the most common example of an insecure API.

Conclusion

Moving to the cloud can be your business’s best course of action. Before going further, be sure you have a clear cloud migration strategy and are aware of the dangers associated with potential incompatibilities with the current architecture, security threats, and reduced visibility and control. Additionally, make every effort to prevent data loss, incomplete data deletion, excessive spending, and additional latency. Cloud migration might be beneficial for your company if you can avoid these problems.

Stay informed and ensure you are aware of all the risks of a cloud migration before making a final decision. Download this e-book, and you will learn about the top 5 risks of cloud migration and how to avoid them in detail.

What Iran’s Cyber Attack On Boston Children’s Hospital Means For Your Healthcare Organization

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Wednesday, June 1st, At a Boston College cybersecurity conference hosted by Mintz, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that investigators prevented a planned attack on Boston Children’s Hospital by Iranian government-sponsored hackers. The FBI director told the story as part of a bigger speech about cyber threats from Russia, China, and Iran, as well as the importance of government-private partnerships.

What Happened

In the summer of 2021, the FBI received a tip from an intelligence partner that hackers sponsored by the Iranian government were targeting the Boston Children’s Hospital. The cyber squad in the FBI Boston Field Office raced to notify the hospital. Over a 10-day period, worked with the hospital in response to the threat

Wray didn’t say why the hospital attack was planned, but he did say that Iran and other governments have been hiring cyber mercenaries to carry out attacks on their behalf. Furthermore, the US government has identified the healthcare and public-health sectors as one of 16 critical infrastructure sectors. Healthcare providers such as hospitals are considered easy targets for hackers.

It wasn’t clear if the hackers planned to target the hospital with ransomware, shut down the hospital operations with a virus, or sell the data on the black market.  That’s because the FBI caught the attack early enough to prevent any damage to the network or the hospital’s data. The FBI declined to discuss the specific nature of the attack in detail, citing security reasons.

Nevertheless, the FBI issued a warning in November saying Iranian government hackers had breached the “environmental control network” at an unidentified children’s hospital in the United States last June. Leading many to assume the same was targeted in Boston. The environmental control network refers to the hospital’s HVAC system.

What it Means

In the case of ransomware, hospitals can face devastating system shutdowns. Patient data can be made inaccessible to hospital staff, it can be damaged, or it can be stolen and sold. A ransomware attack compromised a Vermont hospital’s patient record system in October 2020, and patients have turned away as a result.

Nation-states and hacker groups are probing healthcare organizations and looking for areas to exploit. This past November, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an alert for an Iran-sponsored hacker group targeting healthcare. As the Russia-Ukraine war drags on, federal agencies say U.S. healthcare organizations need to be “shielded up” to mitigate against potential foreign threats.

The FBI is “racing” to warn possible healthcare targets of data breaches when it comes to Russia and other state-sponsored attacks. According to Wray, China’s hackers have stolen more business and personal data from Americans than all other countries combined as part of an enormous geopolitical ambition to “lie, cheat, and steal their way into global denominations of global industries.”

All hospitals and healthcare organizations must sit up and take notice. It is not only hacktivist groups and employees they need to worry about, today. But nation-states as well.

 

Cyber Attack On Hospital

Protected Harbor’s Take On The Issue

Protected Harbor has been monitoring the situation for a long time and continues to emphasize cybersecurity. Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor, said this is a severe issue, and we advise all our clients to take precautionary measures and make sure their systems are secure and protected.

He suggested 3 simple tips to harden your servers, which every company should implement immediately.

1. Update the operating systems on your servers regularly.

The most crucial action you can take to secure your servers is to keep their operating systems up to date. On a nearly daily basis, new vulnerabilities are discovered and publicized, with the potential for remote code execution or local privilege escalation.

2. Enforce The Use Of Strong Passwords

Enforcing the usage of strong passwords across your infrastructure is an important security measure. Attackers will have a harder time guessing passwords or cracking hashes to obtain unauthorized access to sensitive systems. A smart place to start is with 10-character passwords that include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Password guessing attacks can be stopped by combining a strong password policy with a powerful account robust policy that locks accounts after a few erroneous tries.

3. Use local protection mechanisms such as firewalls and anti-virus software.

Local protection measures and estate-wide controls like patching, domain configuration, and border fire-walling are critical for offering a defense-in-depth approach.

The chance of unneeded default services being exposed to the broader network is reduced when a host’s local firewall is configured correctly. Even if your patching schedule has fallen behind, it will still prevent an attacker from accessing critical network services. While not fool proof, this all-or-nothing strategy can distinguish between compromise and attacker frustration.

With so much at stake, it’s essential to ensure your business has a robust IT audit plan. With the help of a trusted IT auditing company like Protected Harbor, you can be sure that your systems are secure and functioning at peak efficiency. Because The FBI won’t always be there, but Protected Harbor will.

Sign up to get a risk-free IT Audit and see how you can improve your security. We will analyse your business from top to bottom and give recommendations on making your company safer. What are you waiting for? Get Protected!

Wellstar Health System reveals data breach

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How to avoid being the next Wellstar Health Systems

Wellstar 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 feature

Use 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.

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Healthcare organizations have always been vulnerable to different types of cyber threats. The recent reports by the Department of Health and Human Services highlight...