Internet of Medical Things:  Real Security Threat or Hype?

For decades, healthcare medical devices functioned as freestanding tools. Glucometers, lasers, infusion pumps, pressure monitors, neonatal incubators, heart monitors – each serving its unique function independently of the others. With the widespread implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), however, and the push for increased digitization of health information, these devices have increasingly been networked into the patient information ecosystem.  They now transmit PHI between a myriad of syste ...

2018 The Year of the Meltdown and Spectre

If you don't read about cybersecurity and stolen data everyday then you probably don't read much news.  But, if you scan the news headlines once in a while you're aware of the following: 2014 - The Year of the Cyber Breach 2015 - The Year of the Healthcare Cyber Breach 2016 - The Year of the Cyber Attack (it's common news) 2017 - The Year of Ransomware So, what will 2018 be dubbed?  2018 - The Year of the Meltdown?  Wait, what meltdown?  Or the Year of the Spectre?  Is that a ghost or ...

Congress Addresses Medical Device Vulnerabilities

The Medical Device Cybersecurity Act of 2017 was introduced on August 1, 2017 by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).  The new bill is intended to improve the security of medical devices and increase transparency. If passed, it would make healthcare organizations aware of the cyber capabilities of devices and the extent to which those devices have been tested.  Is this another law adding burden to a strained healthcare industry or a vital piece of legislation designed to protect the public?  Let’s se ...

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 ...

Best Defense Against Ransomware is a Good Backup

By now, most have heard or been affected by the WannaCry ransomware that has spread to over 150 countries at last count. The WannaCry ransomware started taking over users' files on Friday, demanding $300 to restore access. Hundreds of thousands of computers have been affected so far. Computer giant Microsoft said the attack should serve as a wake-up call. The first line of defense in this is always having a properly maintained firewall both on your network and on each individual computer system. Ho ...

One small step for man, one giant leap for privacy!

“To err is human”… a pretty obvious statement. So if we all know we are going to make mistakes, why not add an extra level of security to mitigate the effects of the mistake? I am sure we have all been in the predicament of sending John C. an email, but when we clicked on our contacts list we accidentally sent it to John B. I have conversations constantly with clients and friends about encrypting their email to protect themselves and often get the same set of questions… “Isn’t that e ...

Why Physicians should never use public Wi-Fi

We all enjoy the convenience of being somewhere, like a coffee shop, airport, hotel room, or lobby of a building waiting, and hopping on the free Wi-Fi to catch up on some work. Unfortunately, all healthcare workers should avoid free Wi-Fi at all costs.  It is very important to realize that if you can access the free Wi-Fi, so can anyone else. They can even leave devices behind that stay on the Wi-Fi, breach other systems and transmit the data back to their "home" base.  If you share a local Wi-Fi net ...

The IoT, Little “Things” with Big Implications

You may have experienced the first coordinated cyber attack using “Internet of Things”, IoT. I bet you are wondering how did it affect me? How did it happen?  Did you notice on October 21st that Facebook and LinkedIn were not available?  Maybe you noticed that Amazon couldn’t take your order, and email was really slow? This was the result of a DDoS attack, Distributed Denial of Service, which have been going on for years, but this one was different. Typically, DDoS attacks are the result of ...

Focus on Technology: HIPAA Quick Fixes

While meeting all the HIPAA requirements for your technology (computer, network, etc.) requires some planning, there are some quick fixes that can greatly reduce the odds of your organization being breached while at the same time starting you on your path to compliance. Below are some common issues that we see at all sizes of organizations. How you go about correcting some of them is determined by the size and resources of your organization. Quick Fix #1 Issue: The operating system (i.e. Windows) on ...

Focus on Technology: Windows 10 shortcuts

If you're like me, sometimes you're a slow learner or you just like things the way they were. Why change a good thing, right?  Windows 10 has some nice new features, but I thought Windows 7 was simple and easy to use, plus I know it.  Here are some tips on how to navigate Windows 10 a little easier.  Hope they help. Right Mouse Click on Windows (Start) Icon This will pop-up a list of applications like on Windows 7. Windows Key - Alt - Esc Toggle through all open windows (applications) ...

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