Robert McDermott ,President & CEO, iCoreConnect
The Coronavirus has not slowed down cybercriminals. In fact, business is booming. In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a warning about increased IT security risks due to the pandemic.
Aside from keeping business revenue flowing, the biggest concern is keeping protected health information (PHI) and other sensitive data secure when working remotely. Consider how you are electronically sharing and storing PHI. Here are seven recommendations, straight from our IT security experts, for working securely outside the office and when your doors reopen:
- Go (anti)viral. This might be a no brainer, but you should have a solid antivirus program installed on your computer. Some may be free, but remember you get what you pay for.
- Enable 2-Factor Authentication. Often called “2FA”, 2-factor authentication means it takes more than a password to access your sensitive data. For example, it requires a linked app that generates a code (such as Google Authenticator or Authy), or else sends a text message with a single-use code.
- Secure your Remote Desktop. Windows “Remote Desktop” has a vulnerability in the method to encrypt earlier versions that can allow unauthorized access. Only connect remotely through a secured and encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) and/or a trusted high-security provider.
- Never recycle passwords. Having a unique password for every service will help protect you from cyber attacks. But don’t try to keep up with all those passwords on a notepad or in your head. Use a password manager to keep track of those strong, unique passwords.
- Protect emails coming and going. Implement filtering to block threats, phishing and viruses before they get to your inbox. You’ll stop the attacks before they use you to spread. Is the email you’re using at home truly HIPAA-compliant? If you’re not sure, it likely isn’t.
- Patch the cracks before they grow. Proactive security maintenance and health monitoring of your computers is critical. Professional services can assess your system and provide next-steps for better security. Like the mechanic who maintains your car, you need a diagnostics pro to assess whether your IT is at risk and fix problems before hackers exploit them.
- Back up! And we don’t just mean six feet away. You must always back up your data. It’s required under HIPAA law. We recommend monitored, multi-location back-up systems at off-site data centers.
Cybercriminals are getting more creatively deceptive by the minute. They thrive in high-stress situations, especially when so much work is moved online. Follow these seven recommendations now to stop an attack before it happens to you.
iCoreConnect is an FDA Crown Savings Endorsed Partner. If you want to learn more about the steps above, or have questions about IT Security, iCoreConnect and its cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant solutions can help. Get in touch by calling 888.810.7706, or email [email protected].