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Five Best Practices to Avoid Common HIPAA Violations

Juliana

Posted by Juliana "JC" Lee
Tue, Jun 06, 2017

Fines up to $1.5 million, loss of clients, and negative publicity are just some of the serious consequences of violating the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The penalties for non-compliance are based on the level of negligence, and in some cases carry criminal charges that can result in jail sentences. HIPAA compliance is serious business, and when penalties are levied one of the main things taken into consideration is what, if any preventive steps were taken.

With that in mind, here are some basic best practices to implement regarding HIPAA compliance, including:

  1. Comprehension of the guidelines
  2. Training
  3. Guard against 3rd party disclosure
  4. Proper disposal methods
  5. Mobile device management

Read on to learn about each of these five best practices, and how you can implement them.

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Timely Talk About IT Security – Wannacry!

Jordan Arnold

Posted by Jordan Arnold
Thu, May 18, 2017

By now, I'm just going to assume that most, if not all, of you have at least heard something about the Wannacry! Ransomware.

It’s been all over the news and many of my colleagues and clients have been asking me about it. Unfortunately, I have to deliver some bad news – these kinds of threats are going to continue to be more frequent. They're even getting cooler names from the individuals or groups disseminating them, so the media promotes them more, too...the jury's still out on whether that's a good thing, or a bad thing. 

Related: What DC SMBs Need to Know About Encrypting Ransomware and Malware

While widespread awareness can help slow the spread of bugs like this, it can also inspire copycat attacks from others who want their 15 minutes in the limelight. However, the thing the media's definitely not talking about enough is the fact that this could have been prevented if people simply took proper preventative care of their networks. 

Were you covered for the Wannacry attack? Are you sure or How do you know? Who do you call to get answers about something like this?

Related: Top 5 Risks of Using Outdated Technology

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An Overlooked Threat to Network Security: Don't forget about your printers

Juliana

Posted by Juliana "JC" Lee
Tue, Feb 21, 2017


Fringe devices, such as printers, can pose some of the biggest security risks, if not properly managed.

When it comes to IT security, most business professionals today think about their desktop computers — as they should. But our smartphones, tablets and PCs are not the only devices on our networks that can compromise critical infrastructure.

A few months ago, the Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDOS) attack on Dyn Inc.'s Domain Name Server marked an unprecedented level of cyber intrusion, causing widespread website availability issues throughout the East Coast. This disruption shed light on some of the major vulnerabilities within Internet-of-Things devices, including those that we tend to overlook, such as printers. 

Keep reading for:

  • a quick video on why you should care about printer security, courtesy of Christian Slater and HP Studios
  • key factors that come into play for the overlooked threat of printer security
  • what you can do to overcome the risk and secure your printers
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Unsecured File Sharing is Risky Business

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Mon, Jan 09, 2017

File sync-and-share apps have become increasingly popular with enterprises, both small and large.

In some organizations, the ability to share and edit electronic documents is essential to their operations. Used properly, file sharing can enhance productivity, creativity, and collaboration. Used improperly, it can cause data security nightmares.

Hackers and other cyber crooks are always looking for the weak spot in any network security system. They're constantly probing and testing firewalls and antivirus software, or going on “phishing” expeditions looking for victims. But, sometimes, they get lucky and an unsecured document or email just drops into their laps.

RELATED: Is Antivirus Software Really Dead?

A mistake in peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing can result in anything from a slight inconvenience to a major security breach. As a member of Meridian’s VCIO Team, I consider secure file sharing to be a top priority. In this post, I'll explain why it should be one of your top priorities, too.

Read on to learn more about:

  1. Key points that should be included in your policy for secure file sharing
  2. Risks associated with unsecured file sharing
  3. Advantages of secure file sharing practices
  4. Guidelines to help determine who should be responsible for preventing unsecured file sharing in your organization
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Biggest Security Threats Facing Employees Today

Caroline McKee

Posted by Caroline McKee
Wed, Dec 28, 2016

In today’s workplace, you can never be too safe. With threats such as helpdesk support scams, CEO imposter scams, phishing, social engineering, malware built into ads and hijacked websites, its hard to know what can — and, more importantly, what can not — be trusted.

Luckily, by knowing what to look for and being able to quickly identify the telltale signs of threats like these, you will be better enabled to navigate securely through your workdays.

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Forgot your Password...Again? How to Create Secure Login Credentials You Can Actually Remember

Caroline McKee

Posted by Caroline McKee
Tue, Sep 27, 2016


So many websites, so many passwords, so little time to remember them all! 

What do our accounts for social media, online banking, CRMs, email, and client databases all have in common? Easy — we forget our passwords for all of 'em. We've all been there: staring at the dreaded blank login menu, unable to remember our username/password combo. 

Often, this is a byproduct of system settings or requirements that prompt us to periodically reset, update, change and strengthen credentials; although a "strong," yet forgettable password doesn't do you much good, either. Luckily, there are a few tools and tricks you can incorporate in your password pocket to help you have passwords that aren't just secure — they're useful, too!

Read on to learn our best practices for avoiding the hassles of forgotten passwords, creating secure passwords, and remembering the right password at the right time, every time.

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Why and When Email Encryption is Important for SMB Security

Juliana

Posted by Juliana "JC" Lee
Tue, Aug 16, 2016

I can’t stop thinking about encryption.

Right after Google announced plans to release an extension to its Chrome browser called “End-To-End”, with the goal of facilitating easier email encryption, I found a postcard on the sidewalk. The postcard was addressed to a house three doors down from where I found it, so I simply took it there and dropped it in their mailbox. But, in the process of searching for the address, I inadvertently read the greeting — “Dear Aunt Sally.”

Having no interest in Aunt Sally, I read no further — but I could have — and that is the point of this blog. Unencrypted email can be less secure than sending a post card via snail mail.

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Top 5 Most Read Technology Tips & Posts from June

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Wed, Jul 06, 2016

During the month of June, we delivered informative content outlining topics — including what to expect during IT onboarding, cyber security and cyber attack prevention, how to avoid printer jams and more — from which all organizations can benefit.

These posts were created to be used as a guide, helping to relieve anxiety, answer questions, and ultimately assist organizations with making the best business decisions related to office technology. 

As we continue to rev up valuable content for July, take a minute to soak up the information in our five most popular blog business technology posts of June:

  1. What to Expect From Your New Managed IT Services Provider During Onboarding
  2. How to Avoid and Reduce Paper Jams in Your Office Copier or Printer
  3. Top 10 Messy Desk Mistakes That Threaten Security in Your Office
  4. What the Healthcare Industry MUST Know About Ransomware Attack
  5. IT Can No Longer Guarantee Cyber Security

Keep reading for more info on each of these topics.

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IT Can No Longer Guarantee Cybersecurity

Juliana

Posted by Juliana "JC" Lee
Tue, Jun 21, 2016

Traditionally, cybersecurity, and everything related to it, has been almost totally relegated to IT departments and/or outsourced IT/security providers. Those technical teams worked tirelessly to secure company networks and data by combining a variety of measures, including firewalls, antivirus software, mobile device managementdata loss prevention tacticshardware and firmware updates, etc.

And, while that worked for a while, hackers wised up social engineering opened network back-doors, BYOD made it hard to secure endpoints, new malware and encrypting ransomware sprung up everywhere, and even USB drives became suspect — and traditional cybersecurity measures are simply no longer enough.

IT alone can no longer guarantee cybersecurity and protect your network from all threats. Why? Hackers have gotten really good at exploiting your biggest and most numerous vulnerabilities: unsuspecting employees.

Read on to learn more about this shift, why it's so important, its worldwide impact on businesses and governments, and what you can do to fight back and bolster your organization's security.

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10 Messy Desk Mistakes That Threaten Data Security in Your Office

Juliana

Posted by Juliana "JC" Lee
Tue, Jun 14, 2016

It may sound like simple common sense, but keeping your desk and work area tidy is an often overlooked component of data security. It’s also the perfect place to start improving your security habits.

A messy desk also makes it more difficult to realize something is missing, such as a folder with hard copy print-outs of customer lists. In addition to increasing the likelihood of something being removed, a cluttered desk means that the discovery of any theft will likely be delayed — perhaps by days or even weeks if the victim is out of the office or distracted by competing projects or priorities. Such delays make it more difficult to determine who the perpetrator is and where the stolen material might now be located.

Encouraging yourself, your team and other coworkers to maintain a neat desk pays off in two ways. In addition to making digital and paper assets more secure, people with clean desks are more apt to be productive, and therefore happy, because they can quickly — and safely — access the tools and resources they need to do their jobs.

Read on to learn about the top 10 most common messy desk mistakes that you should start avoiding TODAY!

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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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