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HIPAA Headlines, News, and Notes

Posted by on in Security

hipaaEven if you’re not a medical office or clinic, if your business deals with HIPAA-regulated industries at all, there’s a pretty good chance you should be following HIPAA news as well. And really, following the headlines of an industry that takes protecting confidential data very seriously is never a bad thing. Here are some recent headlines that should be paid attention to, especially if you’re a HIPAA-regulated business.

wirelessThis last weekend I was travelling and needed to get onto my hotel’s wifi to get some work done. Many hotels and other public wireless access points require that you not only connect to their network, but then open a browser and agree to their terms and conditions or type in a username or password. They typically will do this by intercepting the first web page request your browser makes (usually to your browser home page) and instead sending you to the page where you have to click “Agree” to something. The problem? More and more, the hotel’s wifi system cannot send you the to the hotspot portal page to agree to their terms. So how do you get around that and get online?

Tagged in: Internet Security Tips

HIPAA Risk Assessments are Not Optional

Posted by on in Best Practices

HIPAA Assessments are Not OptionalThe end of the year is almost here. If your healthcare organization hasn’t had at least one Security Risk Assessment in the last 12 months, your organization may be out of compliance. Keeping up with HIPAA and Meaningful Use regulations and requirements can be a huge drain – both financially and emotionally. Small practices generally cite insufficient staff or time to keep the practice running while also researching and creating the required security practices, policies and procedures as well as ensuring staff is getting HIPAA training. You’ve been entrusted to care for your patients, and that includes protecting their ePHI. We know it’s overwhelming and Weston is here to help.

Healthcare Data Breaches are on the Rise

Posted by on in Alerts

healthcareitFrom HealthcareITNews, more breaches happened in Q3 of 2016 than in the previous two quarters. Some 118 security incidents were either reported to the Department of Health and Human Services or first disclosed in the media in Q3 2016, compared with 89 in Q2 and 63 in Q1. Based on the types of breaches from the article, proper protections may have alleviated some of breaches or prevented them from happening in the first place.

Avoid "Budget Forecast" Emails

Posted by on in Alerts

windows 7 zip iconOver the last few days, we have seen an uptick in folks receiving an email with subject “budget forecast” (or something similar). This email has an attachment in zip format. Please do not open this or any other attachments in zip format from anyone that you do not know. Even if it is from someone that you do know, make sure and check with the purported sender to make sure that they actually sent it. Those zip files generally contain malware, usually in the form of virus-ridden Excel or Word documents (which we've discussed before on our blog).

You'll see what the icon looks like (roughly, as it's different, depending on the version of Windows you're using) to the right of this text.

As a reminder, always view attachments with suspicion and do not open any that are from someone that you do not know. Or, as stated above, even if it is from someone you know, make sure that they sent it. Apply the same rules to emails with links that invite you to click on them (here are some tips to recognize phishing scams).

It only takes a few minutes to check the validity of an email, where it can take hours to clean up a virus, not to mention the downtime and potential loss of files it can cost you.

Thanks and stay vigilant!

Tagged in: Email Security Tips Virus