Tech Blog


What to Do If Your Data Is Included in a Leak?

Data breaches are now daily occurrences and can happen to any business. The April 2021 leak of 533 million Facebook records was one of the largest known data leaks, but even if you weren’t affected by that one, you may still be at risk.

There is no easy way to know if your information has been leaked. When a business is hacked, it typically sends a notification letting you know, but this isn’t guaranteed. And you can’t go in and check the Dark Web. It is difficult to find and dangerous to access, and that is why the bad guys like it.

It’s a good idea to navigate to https://haveibeenpwned.com to see if your email address or phone number is on any data breach files. This isn’t conclusive, but it can help.

Even, if you’re not sure if you’ve been a victim of a data leak, you’ll want to take action.

There are several smart strategies to follow immediately.

#1 Limit your social sharing

It is simple to share on social media – that is part of the fun. You share the pictures of your wedding day or anniversary, or your new house with its address. You’re filling in family and friends in your life, right?

Well, if you are using any of that information to create access credentials, you are sharing too much. Someone with a beloved cat called “Petunia” in every photo who uses the feline’s name as a password gives hackers an edge.

You might think you are sharing harmless information, but those birthday party photos posted on the big day are a clue to your identity that hackers can exploit.

#2 Use Unique Passwords

Would you believe people still use “12345678” and “password” as their passwords? If you are one of them, stop now. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again and again: use unique passwords for every one of your accounts. Yes, it is more to remember, but it helps cut the risk of a data breach at one site snowballing to disastrous consequences for you.

You might use a password keeper such as 1Password or LastPass to manage your many passwords. This is more secure than the password manager offered by your Web browser, although those are better than revising passwords or trying (hopelessly) to memorize them.

#3 Add Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) makes it more challenging for the bad actor. Now, they will need to obtain access not only to log in credentials but also to your personal device. However, since phone numbers are often included in a data leak, this isn’t the best solution. If the hacker has your name, address, and birthdate from the Dark Web, they can take over your phone number, too. They call the company and say, “I lost my phone. Can I get another SIM card.” Then, they are the ones to get those verification codes via message, not you.

Better still, use a 2FA app to confirm your identity. Authy or LastPass are good authenticator apps. After you attempt to log in, you will need to enter a time-sensitive code generated by the app to complete access.

#4 Stop Signing into Other Sites Using Social

Sure, it is convenient to use your Facebook or other social media account to sign in to connected applications, because you have fewer passwords to remember. Some of your data is automatically transferred, so signup is streamlined, too. Yet you are increasing the risk of account compromise.

The hacker may access the third-party application and use that as a stepping stone to get into your social account. That’s where the trove of data is.

#5 Develop an Alternate Ego

It all sounds super spy, but you might have one email account you open to be a burner account for social media. You could also use a fake birth date, a fake alma mater, and other alternative facts to fill out the social profile.

Don’t fabricate personal details for an employer, or a financial or educational institution. But you might use a fake identity for entertainment, gaming, and social sites that bad guys may mine for personal data.


Microsoft 365 Streamlines Business and Reduces Spend

When doing business online, you have many options for available software and systems. You might turn to one solution to handle online meetings, another to drive collaboration, and yet another to manage your content and workflow. It can get confusing. Plus, when you are duplicating tools, IT spend can mushroom unnecessarily. Microsoft 365 aims to offer a single, all-in-one solution. This article highlights the benefits of streamlining your software needs.

Formerly Office 365, Microsoft 365 is for home, business, enterprise, and education users. Microsoft touts that the software helps businesses reimagine the way they work.

Consolidating many business apps can encourage productivity, support collaboration, and cut costs. Doing away with the fragmentation of many different vendor apps your business can:

  • save time;
  • manage projects, communications, calendars, and more in a unified platform;
  • simplify deployment;
  • cut tech support and IT management challenges;
  • budget better with one invoice for the one solution.

Let’s talk in more detail about all you might handle within the Microsoft platform.

Microsoft 365 Replaces Your Many Apps

There are many online business tools you can replace with Microsoft 365.

Communication

First, there’s Business Voice to replace your traditional phone systems. This secure and cost-effective VoIP service enables users to make and receive calls from any device. You can use a laptop, mobile, or desktop, while continuing to use the same number as the desk phone. You can dial in numbers for call conferencing, AI voicemail, transcription, and real-time captioning help, too.

Microsoft 365 also lets users pop into meetings immediately within their Teams channels. They can easily start a phone or video meeting, and during the meeting, they can also share files and PowerPoints. Plus, integrating Outlook contacts and calendars helps efficiency and scheduling.

Collaboration

Microsoft users are already relying on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. With Microsoft 365, these files are easy to use and share online. Collaborate in a shared document, in real-time, with version control.

Within Microsoft Teams, users have a whiteboard and screen, too. Custom backgrounds and the Together mode are particularly useful during the pandemic. Blur the background on a video call or choose a custom setting. Or sit in a shared digital background to feel as if you’re all actually in the same space together again.

This can replace GoToMeeting, Zoom, and WebEx, as well as document management software, Box, or an on-premises file server.

Apps and Services

Integrate bots, automate workflows, or manage data with more than 700 productivity, project management, industry-specific, or business department apps.

Businesses can connect data to improve agility with Power automate doing repetitive tasks. Power BI makes it easier to discuss and visualize data.

Emails and Planning

Microsoft Exchange does away with on-premises email, Web hosting provider email, or Gmail. Plus, people can stay better organized with integrated notes, documents, and calendars.

Instead of tracking things in Trello, Basecamp, or another project platform, use Planner to stay on top of progress.

Backup storage

Your Microsoft 365 subscription includes 1 terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage. That’s equivalent to 6.5 million document pages (such as Office files, PDFs, and presentations). Plus, your workers can share, locate, and collaborate in SharePoint.

Cybersecurity

Microsoft 365 also offers secure messaging and multi-factor authentication. The “1,000+ security and privacy controls” help meet industry and regulatory standards. That’s without needing Proofpoint, Mimecast, or Barracuda, or other advanced threat protections.

Simplify your IT infrastructure with Microsoft 365. Reduce software duplication, cut back on software licensing costs, and regain storage capacity.

Find out more about this secure, current, unified platform solution. Microsoft 365 can benefit your business. Our IT experts can answer your questions. We’ll help you make the most of your Microsoft subscription.


How to Protect Your Proprietary Information

Proprietary information makes your business special, whether you’re a tech startup with a smart algorithm or a food manufacturer with a secret sauce. Regardless of industry, business gains competitive advantage from distinct practices or unique data. The last thing you want is someone with ill intent getting their hands on your differentiators. Here’s how to protect your proprietary information.

We all know cybercriminals are trying to gain unauthorized access to your computers. Most attention is on hackers stealing personal data, or malware attacks that render computers useless unless a ransom is paid. Other prime reasons bad actors seek out technology vulnerabilities are for corporate espionage or to make a buck selling your proprietary information to the highest bidder.

Trade secrets, business strategies, or product designs could all be at risk. The very future of your business could be at stake if you don’t control and protect your proprietary data. These strategies can help.

#1 Limit Access on a Need-to-Know Basis

It sounds very cloak and dagger: “you don’t have clearance for that.” Still, limiting access based on roles builds a stronger perimeter around proprietary data.

The front receptionist doesn’t need the same level of access to technology or data as the founder. Keep accountants and product development team members on their own systems, too.

This cuts the risk of inadvertent exposure or insider threat, plus, it contains possible damage. If one person’s access credentials are compromised, a hacker will only get so far.

#2 Educate and Audit

Check your control over proprietary data, and regularly audit what critical information you have and who has access to that data.

Also, vet employees to prevent bad actors from getting inside your security perimeter. Ongoing education can also help, as it will keep best practices top of mind with your employees.

#3 Limit Personal Device Usage

Many employees have powerful computers they can’t live without, or they may prefer to use their smartphones, laptops, or tablets. If you’re going to allow Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), you need to establish strict guidelines.

The business should:

  • ask employees to register any personal devices used for work;
  • segregate personal devices from the business network;
  • install remote monitoring to allow you to audit device access and ensure best practices;
  • require up-to-date software and vulnerability patching;
  • create a separate, encrypted drive on those personal devices for work data.

Also, ban the installation of hardware or software on office computers without involving IT. This can avoid someone downloading and installing a program that provides third-party access. The employee or department didn’t mean to cause a security breach, but you want to be safe.

#4 Protect Multifunction Devices, Too

Even with businesses doing more in the cloud, we still use printers, scanners, and copiers. Any of these could have internal storage that stores the data your users send to them. These devices are also attached to your network, and you may never have even changed the default password from the manufacturer.

Shore up security. Give these devices their own network separate from the main system.

#5 Destroy Any Hardware Properly

When you upgrade to new hardware, what do you do with the old technology? In many instances, it will sit unattended in a closet somewhere, or get boxed up and sent to an auctioneer without first clearing the hard drive. Work with a certified data destruction company. They can wipe your technology clean before resale or destroy them effectively.

Plus, keep in mind that paper remains a threat, too. Your employees need to be aware that a messy desk can mean documents go missing or get mixed up, and it is that much easier for a visitor to see and take an important document.

The ways to handle your proprietary information will evolve. Control and protection are key. Our IT experts can help you keep up with the threats and cut your risks.


Tips to Get the Right Printer for You

Buying a printer can be overwhelming. There are so many options available from different brands, and buying guides galore. Yet we still often see people with printers that aren’t the best ones for their needs. That said, we’re offering five tips to help you find the right one for you.

#1 Identify Your Needs

What are you going to use that printer for? Is it for family use? Home office use? Just as a backup for occasional documents you need to print and sign? For printing photos? For printing graphic designs? Your needs for quality, efficiency, speed, and color or black-and-white prints will influence your choice.

Different printers offer distinct perks. You may want one that prints quickly or one that is compact. Or perhaps you want one that holds a lot of paper. If your priority is photos, you may need a printer that can handle many types and sizes of paper.

If you are running your office from home, you may want to invest in a multi-function printer. These not only print but also scan and copy.

You may not even need a home printer. If you’re using your printer for photographs, you’re better off going to an actual photo printer. It’s about five times cheaper to get photos professionally printed than to color print at home. Plus, you’ll get top-quality copy every time.

#2 Don’t Settle for Cheap

Yes, it’s usually very cheap to buy an inkjet printer from the local big-box store. You may even get a free or dramatically reduced price on a printer with the purchase of your computer. That’s because they’re getting you to buy the printer so that you’ll need to take on the high cost of ink. You’ll also need high-quality printing paper if you want to avoid the ink bleed that can happen on normal office paper.

Another issue with inkjet printers? If you don’t use the color cartridges for a long while, they can dry up, which will leave partial lines on your prints, or the printer won’t work at all until you pay for a fresh, more expensive color cartridge.

#3 Consider Laser Printers

If you’ve decided you do need a home printer, consider a laser printer. Whether you want a printer that works fast or you plan to use it all the time, a laser printer is quick to start up and print. Plus, it offers high-quality results. There is a higher cost upfront, but in the long-term you could save on ink. These printers use a fine powder that doesn’t dry out due to inactivity.

Color laser printing is expensive, yes, but black-and-white printing on a laser printer can be quite cheap and effective.

#4 Read the Reviews

The manufacturer specifications will help you learn:

  • monthly page volume;
  • estimated annual print costs;
  • printing speed;
  • maximum resolution;
  • Wi-Fi functionality;
  • card reader and media plug-in capability;
  • added benefits (e.g. automation features such as collating or stapling).

Still, customer and online reviews can help you find out about durability and productivity. Read both positive and negative reviews to get a full sense of how the printer will suit your needs.


Why Law Firms Need Managed Services

The law industry isn’t known for embracing change quickly: tradition can trump a willingness to embrace new technologies. Yet digital technology has become an essential part of many lawyers’ working day. Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) provides support and enhanced cybersecurity during this evolution.

Lawyers rely on technology today to:

  • communicate with colleagues and clients;
  • exchange documents;
  • schedule events and share calendars;
  • research precedent and legal issues;
  • streamline file management;
  • automate menial tasks;
  • track billable hours;
  • invoice clients and pay vendors;
  • access information from mobile devices, when and where needed;
  • virtually conference during the pandemic.

Now, imagine the disruption if that tech-savvy firm’s systems went down, even just for a few hours. No, this is not an argument to return to paper-pushing and the old-school methods; it’s a reminder that you need an IT expert at the ready in case something goes wrong. Plus, an MSP can manage and watch systems to help prevent the worst.

The MSP Solution

Legal service provider clients expect digital proficiency. They want to schedule appointments online; they want to upload documents to the cloud instead of coming into the office; they are looking to provide digital signatures and pay securely online. The MSP can set up software to meet customer expectations without risking compliance or cybersecurity.

An MSP with experience in the legal industry can also boost competitive advantage. These IT experts can identify opportunities to improve productivity. It may be a faster network or computer upgrades, or you may benefit from improving software integrations and adopting better collaboration tools. The MSP’s initial tech review may also save you money. They’ll identify where you are overpaying or places to streamline software licenses.

Also, on the financial front, the law firm can enjoy a consistent budget line item working with an MSP. Instead of waiting for something to break and then looking for someone to fix it, you’ll have expert ITs on call, which can reduce costly downtime. Better still, the MSP will take preventative action to avoid that downtime in the first place. This includes keeping your antivirus and security updated and checking technological asset health.

The MSP’s small, ongoing fee is something you can plan around. The ongoing monitoring makes a budget blowout less likely, as well.

Managed IT services offer proactive support plus enhanced security. They understand the importance of end-to-end, layered security. They know the threats to a legal firm and can recommend quality precautions. Attorneys need to secure sensitive data and documents to remain compliant. The MSP can suggest secure storage and backup to perform the essential tasks.

Further on security, the MSP has the know-how to help your firm become more mobile, but safely. Your tech partner can put systems in place that allow your team to securely work when and where they need to.

It also helps to have a dedicated support team available. They’ll already know your firm and its technology. This can speed up the response if there are ever issues, plus, you have a consultant to call with questions about new technological innovations.

Keep pace with customer expectations and maintain competitive advantage. Enjoy technology support and cybersecurity peace of mind with an experienced MSP. We’re here to help.


Less Common Cyberattacks for Accountants

Check the news any given day and you might see a report about hackers accomplishing a data breach, or of a ransomware attack encrypting all company data until it pays up. These are the well-known types of cyberattack, but there are less common cyberthreats accountants should be aware of, as well.

There is almost a malware malaise now. You’ve heard so much about the threat of a virus invading your networks or systems. Someone clicks on a perfectly innocent looking email, and the result is computing chaos? It’s not fair!

You also know to put a firewall around your technology; it’s as if you’re in a military movie. You have to “protect the perimeter.” Ensure no one can breach your cyber protections to secure personal data and intellectual property.

Still, a watchful eye for phishing emails and social engineering attempts isn’t enough. Installing security tools and upgrading anti-virus software also won’t cover everything.

Knowing where less common cyberattacks are coming from could help, though.

Less Common Modes of Cyberattack

You may not believe it possible of the people you work with, but they are a real vulnerability.

One problem is that we’re eager to help, especially when it comes to clients. There is a pre-established relationship, as your business has visibility into their financials. People are less likely to think twice about providing information to a client.

Yet cybercriminals do their homework and have enough information to be credible. Then they play on urgency and emotional appeal. They might call or email someone at your firm pretending to be an admin assistant for someone at the client. They might spin a tale of the CEO needing emergency cash in a far-flung location. Can’t you please help get it to them? Or they send a malicious file asking you to look at this complicated tax document for them (posing as the client). By the time you realize it wasn’t actually the client, it’s too late.

Insider attacks are a problem, too. Employees know your company’s infrastructure and are familiar with your cybersecurity tools. They also know where the sensitive data or confidential information is kept. Additionally, they may not act maliciously all the time. If a disgruntled worker is patient, rather than going out in a blaze of glory, it can be harder to detect the breach.

According to the Ponemon Institute, insider-related incidents cost $11.45 million in 2019. Establishing role-based access credentials can help limit exposure. With this approach, people can get only to the information they need to do their jobs.

Other Forms of Insider Threats

Humans also lose things. This is unintentional insider vulnerability. Perhaps they use their personal device to log into the business systems. Laptops, external drives, and mobile devices allow mobility and simplify data access, but what if that mobile device is lost or stolen? If you’re not protecting remote access, you could end up having to tell clients their data is in unknown hands. Encryption can help.

Then, there are the simple mistakes. It’s a good idea to review how you share and publish information. Information goes back and forth regularly between team members, the business, and clients. Don’t lose track of the information or where it is stored. You need to be sure that location is compliant with financial regulations.

If you’ve ever “replied all” when you meant to send to one person, you know how easy it is to mistake sharing privileges. You may intend to share only data with a client, yet you send it out with permissions where everyone can see it. Major oops!

Conclusion

Accountants can prevent, detect, and react effectively to these less common attacks. Don’t be complacent. Thinking it won’t happen to your firm can lead to disaster.

Partner with a managed service provider (MSP) to enhance your user activity monitoring and access management practices. These IT experts can set up alerts and incident response plans, too. Avoid the worst happening to your business. Be proactive.


E-accounting: Top 3 Considerations for Online Client Meetings

Many businesses were teleconferencing before COVID-19. After all, meeting virtually saves both you and your client time, and busy business owners often don’t want to spend the time to make a trip to your office. The coronavirus has hastened the move to e-accounting, but this approach presents some new problems, which we’ll address in this article.

#1 Speed

First, let’s consider speed. You may have a promised internet speed such as “up to 15 Mbps.” But internet connection speed, which impacts your experience, reflects bandwidth and latency. Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred per second, whereas latency is how long it takes for that data to get from source to destination. You need both to be good to be able to handle many video calls at once. Yet a lot of consumer-grade hardware is not built for several of your staff to be on the same call with a client.

Tip: Switch to a business-grade router. Optimize its settings to ensure security from bandwidth leeches and improve signal strength.

#2 Quality of Service

Large downloads can also impact your connection with a client or team member. If you’re on a video call and someone else in the office downloads a large file, your call could lag or drop. Likewise, if you’re working from home during a conference call and your teen is playing Grand Theft Auto, that could also cause issues.

Tip: Use smart networking hardware. You can rank the activities your business values more to improve Quality of Service (e.g. configuring video conferencing to take data preference ahead of file downloads).

#3 Security and Privacy

With virtual communication, you need to be aware of security and privacy issues. Accountants have to consider compliance with regulations, too. Before jumping on an online call with a client, research the teleconferencing app, not only how it secures the call communication but also what it does with the data collected. Encryption is standard, but end-to-end encryption is the highest level available to you.

Tip: Depending on the app, there may be security options you are not using. They are not set up by default because they can make the software more difficult to use. Still, if security and privacy are a priority, you’ll want to make those changes.

Conclusion

Not all internet service providers (ISPs) are equal. Some ISPs, and the modems or routers they supply, may not be up to the task for your business.

Partner with a managed service provider (MSP) to identify the best options for your firm. Perhaps high-quality internet isn’t available in your area. We can help you find a good wireless option. If the internet is unreliable, we can set up failover options to switch your traffic to 4G when necessary.

We can also help you address common e-accounting issues. Our experts will find you the right hardware to handle your traffic. Plus, we can configure QoS prioritization, block some devices, and schedule activities that need a lot of bandwidth. For example, we can schedule system backups for the middle of the night when fewer people will be online.

Embrace e-accounting’s advantages without losing speed, quality, or security. We can help.


Outsourced Help Desk for Accountants

Outsourced Email

Accountants are experts at surviving the “busy season.” Tax accountants, for instance, are slammed as annual deadlines draw near. There are slow times, too, but during crazy times, the last thing an accountant wants is essential tech going down.

A broken computer or server downtime can be devastating. Say it’s a few days before a tax deadline, and the accountant logs into an essential tax preparation application and sees a blank screen: the system is down, and they can’t get in. It’s the kind of crisis that more cups of coffee can’t handle.

In the United States in 2018, the Internal Revenue Service’s website crashed on April 17, Tax Day. Since many people had waited until the last minute to submit their tax returns, this single day of downtime is estimated to have cost millions. It’s a clear example of the damage even a day of server downtime or other type of outage can cost a business and, in this case, one that business accountants can relate to!

If the firm takes a break-fix approach to its technology needs, the answer will be to call in an expert. This could mean hours on the phone with an IT helpline only to find out the problem is with another service provider. Or it could mean trying to reach someone to come out and check the network only to get on their calendar in the next available spot.

Deadlines are looming, and you are spending time on IT woes? It’s a disaster.

A proactive approach is to outsource IT help to a managed service provider (MSP) instead. Rather than waste valuable time trying to solve the problem yourself, turn to an IT technician to get to work.

Outsourcing Your IT Help Desk

With managed services, when you need help, the experts are readily available to tackle your concerns. Many solutions are remote.

Better yet, the MSP will use your slow times to set up systems to cut the risk of downtime during crunch season.

The MSP gets to know your business objectives and your technology infrastructure, which can help them react more efficiently and effectively. They can also track your IT to detect issues or security vulnerabilities early. Plus, they will help create business continuity plans to get your firm up and running again fast.

If the worst does happen, the MSP is only a help ticket or phone call away. Their experts are familiar not only with your technology but also with how you use it. Plus, as a consistent customer, you are a priority, not just another name on a list of people needing help who all see their needs as an emergency.

One other advantage to outsourcing your IT help is that it can reduce costs. The break-fix approach can be an expensive one. Instead, you’ll pay an MSP a set, monthly fee for the peace of mind that your IT needs are being looked after. The MSP can also help you identify opportunities to reduce IT-related operational costs.


7 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Accountants

Accounting Cloud

The public cloud services market has grown dramatically, and, according to Gartner, migrating to the cloud is a top priority for a third of companies. Analysts predicted the market would reach $266 billion in 2020. Accountants enjoy cloud computing, too. This article rounds up the advantages of available cloud services.

Cloud computing can help accountants:

  • improve productivity;
  • empower employees;
  • optimize operations;
  • reduce operating costs;
  • backup better;
  • scale effectively;
  • add security.

Let’s talk about each of these in greater detail.

#1 Improve productivity

Cloud computing centralizes access. Files are available on any connected device, in real time. Avoid version control concerns as files pass among your team members or between you and the client. Everyone can work on the most recent file that is instantly updated in the cloud. The files are accessible on other devices if needed, too.

#2 Empower employees

The cloud enables on-demand access to computing resources. This includes software, networks, servers, and storage applications. Accountants can work from wherever they are, on their own timetable, from their own devices. With the widespread adoption of remote work, cloud services have become even more appealing.

#3 Optimize operations

Previously, you might have had an expensive server in a closet. Replacement was the option when it reached its end of life or could no longer meet your needs. You had to research, budget for, maintain, and secure the next tech. Cloud computing provides access to the most up-to-date tools, plus, the vendor does the upgrading, maintaining, and securing. This lets you focus your full attention on the accounting business.

Additionally, the cloud can streamline accounting practices. You might also gain speed, as the computing runs on faster servers with greater bandwidth.

#4 Reduce operating costs

Many cloud computing vendors offer their services as a pay-as-you-go model. This means you pay only for your level of usage. Plus, you no longer have to pay to host and maintain the tech you are replacing with cloud services.

You get enterprise-level technology affordably, as the cloud provider leverages economies of scale.

#5 Backup better

You may already be backing up business data on-site using external drives or tape. You might also be contracting with a third-party backup provider. A cloud vendor often has redundant backup systems to ensure your data. In the event of fire, flood, or other disaster, the cloud provider can launch a new backup quickly.

Meanwhile, if something disrupts your business directly, you can access cloud computing data. So, if the office floods, you can still get work done off-site.

#6 Scale effectively

Scalability is a great advantage of cloud accounting software. You pay only for what you use and can quickly add more, and you can do so without having to invest in new hardware or pay steep upfront costs.

#7 Add security

A small accounting shop may have had a member of staff who was also trying to keep an eye on IT security. Your cloud provider will have teams of such people. These industry experts focus on proactive cybersecurity.

Cloud Computing Challenges

Migrating to the cloud is not without challenges. There is the private cloud option, of course, but most small accounting businesses will be working on the public cloud.

This requires a partnership with a Web cloud solution provider. While this can simplify your work, it does reduce your direct control of the service provided.

Know that cloud computing can further extend your business interconnections. You could be including employees, customers, vendors (and their hired subcontractors) in access, so data breaches and account hijacking are a concern, too.

Work with a managed service provider (MSP) to ensure the cloud solution is secure. The MSP can review cloud architecture and strategy. Their experts will review configurations for adequate controls and check for interface vulnerabilities. Plus, they can help limit cloud usage visibility. MSPs can also set up effective identity access to harden your site against cyberattack.

Migrate safely to the cloud, and ensure you meet all compliance requirements, with the help of an MSP.


Is Healthcare Compliance Enough?

Compliant image

The healthcare industry is a top target for cyber criminals. Healthcare providers hold patients’ personal and financial data. Plus, they offer a critical service and could be more likely to pay ransom to get systems back up and running. Recognizing the threat, industry regulators have instituted cybersecurity standards. Noncompliance is costly, but the real question is whether meeting the standards is enough.

With growing threats to the healthcare industry, meeting compliance standards is important. Achieving compliance with industry standards indicates a healthcare provider has met the minimum, but this still may not be enough.

Compliant, after all, does not mean cybersecure, not as rigorously as required to protect patient data and electronic health records, or to avoid the damage of a ransomware attack or system downtime caused by another type of virus.

Consider who is making the rules about compliance. How agile can they be? Industry-wide standards are not established quickly. That means medical compliance will never be able to keep up with the pace of change in cyber threats.

Healthcare Compliance Focal Points

Healthcare compliance focuses on specific components of cybersecurity and patient privacy. There are rules about:

  • who can access patient data;
  • controlling and tracking access;
  • using and disclosing patient data;
  • how to safely store and or discard personal and financial data;
  • steps to take if a breach is detected;
  • training staff with access to protected data.

Nevertheless, thousands of compliant healthcare organizations still get breached every year.

Why You Need More than Compliance

It is important to note that compliance protects the healthcare user first. Securing the healthcare provider’s environment means authenticating users, encrypting data, and more.

Reacting to the latest compliance policy statement from the industry regulator isn’t enough. Protecting against new threats also means keeping up to date on the latest.

If that sounds like a lot of work, it is.

Healthcare providers want to keep patients healthy and protect their health. Who has time to learn about new cyber exploits, inventory technology, or audit systems?

Working with a managed service provider (MSP), healthcare providers gain a valuable partner. An MSP can do a risk assessment. These IT experts can also recommend the best data backup, plus, assist with business continuity planning. They can watch all access points in the healthcare environment. Beyond desktops this can also mean:

  • mobile devices such as tablets or cell phones;
  • Internet of Medical Things devices, including digital stethoscopes;
  • third-party system integration.

Partner with an MSP that understands healthcare cybersecurity – that’s both compliance and technical, physical, and administrative safeguards needed. Doctors want their patients to be proactive in disease prevention. An MSP takes action in advance to avoid cyber viruses and keep data secure.