National Nurses Week 2018 – Nurses: Inspire. Innovate. Influence

Third Rock would like to take this chance to salute the nation's Nurses for their role in patient safety - clinical safety, physical safety, and cyber safety. It's nurses of all types who are on the front lines of protecting patients from cyber threats - such as identity theft. ransomware, and device hacking -  by practicing good "cyber hygiene."  Good job, nurses - THANKS for all you do to keep all of us cyber safe! ...

The Right Cyber-Talk

I recently taught a cyber security class to a large medical practice.  The goals were to better protect the organization from cyber-attacks and to improve their HIPAA compliance.  This medical practice is a well-run and well-managed business that invests in its employees and is clearly one of the most security conscious practices I have worked with.  The hour-long course covered the cyber security basics including password management, safe Internet practices, phishing, malvertising, and incident resp ...

An alternative approach to the cyber security talent shortage

Our CEO would contend there is an alternative approach to the cyber security talent shortage.  Most breaches occur because computer systems are easy to breach and people make mistakes.  Compare the number of breaches based on operating systems.  Linux and UNIX variants are more difficult to breach than Windows, especially, if you keep them patched.  Which means we need to focus some time and effort on Windows, shoring up its weak defenses.  The good news is, Windows and Linux can be hardened far m ...

How to Grow Cyber Security Awareness Heroes

The top threat facing any organization today is the staff member working from a computer!  Not because this person intends to do malicious harm to the organization, but because of lack of cyber security awareness and training.  Confirmation of this is MediaPro’s 2017 State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report in which they surveyed over 1,000 people and rated their responses to real-world cyber security questions. Respondents were grouped into 3 “risk profiles” based on their correct answers; ...

Cyber Security: Is it Really a Matter of Life or Death?

A webinar brought to you by the National Rural Health Association and Rural Hospital Insurance of America If you are the CEO, CFO or COO of a Rural Hospital then this webinar is for YOU! But, it is open to all healthcare management. On February 21, from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm join the Rural Hospital Insurance of America (RHIA) program manager in conversation with two of America's leading experts in cyber threat protection, prevention, detection, and response to learn how to stay ahead of the growing and evo ...

Shortage of Qualified Cybersecurity Workers: “…the greatest cyber risk of all.”

The 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) released in February 2017 forecast a shortage of 1.8 million cybersecurity workers by 2020, while a study by Cybersecurity Ventures estimates “3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs” by 2021. While the projected magnitude of the shortfall varies from one study to the next, government experts, consultants, and pundits alike are unanimous in predicting that the current shortage of qualified cybersecurity workers will only get worse for the ...

Thank Goodness! NIST says, “No more difficult passwords!”

Just when you thought all hope was lost of remembering your 16 character password with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters; NIST comes to the rescue. That's right!  The National Institute of Standards and Technology wrote a brief addendum to SP 800-53 which simplifies Strength of Memorized Secrets.  You and I refer to those "secrets" as passwords.  It's a light read, only 50 or 60 pages.  I don't really know because I didn't want to print it and kill four trees.  Anyway, the ...

World War III via Pacemakers

We're all smart enough to know the U.S. and the American way of life is under continuous threat by terrorist and underdog countries.  What we probably don't think about is ways those countries are fighting us on a regular basis.  It's not with bullets and bombs; it's with cyber crimes!  They have already stolen Federal employee information, including those employees' health records.  Foreign governments have incriminating evidence on many of these people's private lives. Do you remember the Allison ...

Healthy Skepticism – Your Best Cyber Defense

It's no longer news that most of us are uber-connected. We use phone apps for weather, meditation, mapping, games, travel, texting, and more.  Online management of home devices, including thermostats, coffee makers, and alarm systems make it possible for us to remotely control many aspects of our lives. These technologies offer previously unthinkable convenience – and a great deal of risk to their owner's physical and information security. Healthcare, too, is becoming more connected for all the s ...

MACRA/HIPAA: Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse

  Many physicians believe HIPAA is a total waste of their time and money.  That's because they think it's the federal government trying to force them to do something that they don't need to be doing.  But, that's not the intent of the HITECH and OMNIBUS rulings.  Much of the compliance that was put into place was because of the implementation of EMR/EHR systems in the healthcare industry.  The federal government's Meaningful Use program even paid covered entities to transition from paper to ...

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