IoT security in healthcare: What you need to know

The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing the healthcare industry. By remotely capturing medical data, facilitating medication delivery, and improving healthcare accessibility, IoT devices today are changing the practice of medicine and helping save more lives. But as with any new technology, IoT also brings a slew of security risks that healthcare practices need to address.

Computing devices that contain a treasure trove of patient data are attractive targets for cybercriminals. Healthcare apps, for instance, hold plenty of sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, prescriptions, and medical histories. Should hackers ever get a hold of this information, they could resell it on the dark web or use it to steal their victim’s identity. They could even use this information to gain direct control over other IoT equipment, which would lead to even bigger consequences.

Similarly, hackers could exploit vulnerable medical devices to infiltrate even the most secure networks. They could use compromised IoT devices to sneak ransomware and other types of malware into a network, causing service disruptions and preventing practitioners from providing responsive treatment.

To effectively defend against IoT-related risks in your healthcare practice, consider the following:

Use multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA requires users to provide more information than just their username and password to prove their identity, such as a password or PIN, an SMS code, or a fingerprint or retina scan. By enabling MFA on your networks and devices, hackers will have a harder time accessing your accounts and sensitive data.

Encrypt your data

Another way to protect your business and your patients from a massive data breach is through encryption. Encrypting electronic health records while they’re being transmitted or kept in storage prevents hackers from intercepting and reading confidential information.

If possible, everything that is transmitted across your network should be encrypted automatically to secure communications between IoT devices.

Install intrusion prevention systems

Since most IoT attacks are delivered via the internet, intrusion prevention systems are crucial to identifying and blocking unauthorized connections to your network. When you install intrusion prevention systems, hackers who try to remotely access or shut down your IoT equipment will be stopped before they damage your systems.

Security updates

Last but not least, IoT manufacturers regularly release security patches for their gadgets. Get in the habit of downloading these updates as soon they’re rolled out, or program your devices to automatically download and update themselves to ensure their safety from the latest threats.

When it comes to security, healthcare institutions have their work cut out for them. But whether you’re dealing with hardware security, data privacy, or regulatory compliance, it’s a good idea to partner with a managed IT services provider that specializes in helping the medical industry.

Call us today to discover how we can better protect you and your patients.

This post was originally published on this site

IoT security in healthcare: What you need to know

The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing the healthcare industry. By remotely capturing medical data, facilitating medication delivery, and improving healthcare accessibility, IoT devices today are changing the practice of medicine and helping save more lives. But as with any new technology, IoT also brings a slew of security risks that healthcare practices need to address.

Computing devices that contain a treasure trove of patient data are attractive targets for cybercriminals. Healthcare apps, for instance, hold plenty of sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, prescriptions, and medical histories. Should hackers ever get a hold of this information, they could resell it on the dark web or use it to steal their victim’s identity. They could even use this information to gain direct control over other IoT equipment, which would lead to even bigger consequences.

Similarly, hackers could exploit vulnerable medical devices to infiltrate even the most secure networks. They could use compromised IoT devices to sneak ransomware and other types of malware into a network, causing service disruptions and preventing practitioners from providing responsive treatment.

To effectively defend against IoT-related risks in your healthcare practice, consider the following:

Use multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA requires users to provide more information than just their username and password to prove their identity, such as a password or PIN, an SMS code, or a fingerprint or retina scan. By enabling MFA on your networks and devices, hackers will have a harder time accessing your accounts and sensitive data.

Encrypt your data

Another way to protect your business and your patients from a massive data breach is through encryption. Encrypting electronic health records while they’re being transmitted or kept in storage prevents hackers from intercepting and reading confidential information.

If possible, everything that is transmitted across your network should be encrypted automatically to secure communications between IoT devices.

Install intrusion prevention systems

Since most IoT attacks are delivered via the internet, intrusion prevention systems are crucial to identifying and blocking unauthorized connections to your network. When you install intrusion prevention systems, hackers who try to remotely access or shut down your IoT equipment will be stopped before they damage your systems.

Security updates

Last but not least, IoT manufacturers regularly release security patches for their gadgets. Get in the habit of downloading these updates as soon they’re rolled out, or program your devices to automatically download and update themselves to ensure their safety from the latest threats.

When it comes to security, healthcare institutions have their work cut out for them. But whether you’re dealing with hardware security, data privacy, or regulatory compliance, it’s a good idea to partner with a managed IT services provider that specializes in helping the medical industry.

Call us today to discover how we can better protect you and your patients.

This post was originally published on this site

Improve internet security with these easy tips

With over four billion internet users around the globe totaling roughly 59% of the population, the internet is rife with opportunities for hackers to steal users’ information. And with technology constantly evolving and the internet growing, it’s not likely to get safer anytime soon. It therefore pays to take extra precautions when surfing the web. We’ve compiled these three easy tips that can amp up your online security.

Tip 1: Use HTTPS

Short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS indicates that a website has an extra layer of security for its users. This layer encrypts data exchanged between a user’s browser and the web server that delivers the data requested by the user. To use a simpler comparison, imagine someone tapping your landline, but instead of getting to listen in on your conversations, they’ll hear people speaking in tongues instead.

In August 2014, Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, announced that having HTTPS makes your website rank higher in its search algorithm. And since October 2017, the browser began flagging non-HTTPS websites as not secure whenever users try to fill out something as simple as a contact form on it. In July 2018, Chrome started showing a “not secure” warning on any website that does not implement HTTPS, whether or not users are filling out a form there.

Because of Google’s measures, the security protocol has been widely adopted. Even if your website does not contain or ask for sensitive information, implementing HTTPS engenders trust and a sense of security among internet users, while remaining on HTTP will make web visitors abandon or avoid you sooner or later.

Tip 2: Embrace multifactor authentication (MFA)

Since account credentials can be easily stolen via phishing attacks, username and password combos are no longer enough to keep bad actors at bay. To ensure that the one accessing an account is truly that account’s owner, additional identity authentication steps must be implemented.

These steps can involve the use of the account holder’s device — the one logging in must first verify their phone number, receive a one-time password on their smartphone, then enter that code in the access portal before the code’s validity lapses. Alternatively, MFA may ask for a face, retina, voice, or fingerprint scan for authentication.

MFA can be a bit of a hassle for your internal and external users, but a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for immensely effective cybersecurity.

Tip 3: Update browsers and devices

Did you know that dated versions of browsers, operating systems, and even other software packages can create an easy entry point for hackers? Often, new updates are created specifically to fix security holes. However, people tend to procrastinate and leave applying updates for another day. Hackers take advantage of this by searching for outdated devices to infiltrate while their victims watch YouTube on last year’s version of Firefox.

Yes, installing an update might take 15 minutes of your time, but this time investment can pay dividends in terms of preventing a security breach that could cost you or your business thousands.

Looking for more tips to boost your internet security? Get in touch to find out how we can help.

This post was originally published on this site

Improve internet security with these easy tips

With over four billion internet users around the globe totaling roughly 59% of the population, the internet is rife with opportunities for hackers to steal users’ information. And with technology constantly evolving and the internet growing, it’s not likely to get safer anytime soon. It therefore pays to take extra precautions when surfing the web. We’ve compiled these three easy tips that can amp up your online security.

Tip 1: Use HTTPS

Short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS indicates that a website has an extra layer of security for its users. This layer encrypts data exchanged between a user’s browser and the web server that delivers the data requested by the user. To use a simpler comparison, imagine someone tapping your landline, but instead of getting to listen in on your conversations, they’ll hear people speaking in tongues instead.

In August 2014, Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, announced that having HTTPS makes your website rank higher in its search algorithm. And since October 2017, the browser began flagging non-HTTPS websites as not secure whenever users try to fill out something as simple as a contact form on it. In July 2018, Chrome started showing a “not secure” warning on any website that does not implement HTTPS, whether or not users are filling out a form there.

Because of Google’s measures, the security protocol has been widely adopted. Even if your website does not contain or ask for sensitive information, implementing HTTPS engenders trust and a sense of security among internet users, while remaining on HTTP will make web visitors abandon or avoid you sooner or later.

Tip 2: Embrace multifactor authentication (MFA)

Since account credentials can be easily stolen via phishing attacks, username and password combos are no longer enough to keep bad actors at bay. To ensure that the one accessing an account is truly that account’s owner, additional identity authentication steps must be implemented.

These steps can involve the use of the account holder’s device — the one logging in must first verify their phone number, receive a one-time password on their smartphone, then enter that code in the access portal before the code’s validity lapses. Alternatively, MFA may ask for a face, retina, voice, or fingerprint scan for authentication.

MFA can be a bit of a hassle for your internal and external users, but a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for immensely effective cybersecurity.

Tip 3: Update browsers and devices

Did you know that dated versions of browsers, operating systems, and even other software packages can create an easy entry point for hackers? Often, new updates are created specifically to fix security holes. However, people tend to procrastinate and leave applying updates for another day. Hackers take advantage of this by searching for outdated devices to infiltrate while their victims watch YouTube on last year’s version of Firefox.

Yes, installing an update might take 15 minutes of your time, but this time investment can pay dividends in terms of preventing a security breach that could cost you or your business thousands.

Looking for more tips to boost your internet security? Get in touch to find out how we can help.

This post was originally published on this site