Breaking the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act can quickly add up for many businesses regulated by this act. Most of you might know this as HIPAA. A breach can cost a company millions of dollars annually, even if the breach is perpetrated by a contracted third party. These third party contractors are often times IT companies, so ensuring your IT provider is knowledgeable with HIPAA regulations is a huge priority and should be a mitigating factor when selecting one.
The top breaches of HIPAA are theft, unauthorized access/disclosure, and hacking. Theft includes not just the loss of cyber data, but also the taking of physical property, such as laptops. Leaving documents out in the open or failing to dispose of them properly falls under the disclosure reason, and malware, including ransomware, is a good example of hacking.
Read the full article to understand more the complexities of the ways your business needs to protect itself with regards to HIPAA, with even some basics as ensuring cables and locks are attached to laptops to prevent basic theft. Optfinity is an IT managed service provider which fully understands this regulation and works hard to protect its clients’ data and help educate others. Please contact Optfinity today for more information.
Springfield, VA – OptfinITy announced today that CEO Michael Drobnis has been named to Leadership Fairfax’s Class of 2017.
Leadership Fairfax is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to finding, training and growing leaders in Northern Virginia. Through the Leadership Fairfax Program, Emerging Leaders Institute and the Lifetime Leaders Program, Leadership Fairfax seeks to build leaders who raise the tide not only in their organization or local community but in the whole Northern Virginia area. The Leadership Fairfax Program will cover a comprehensive 10-month curriculum of community issues and skill development.
“It is an honor to be part of the Leadership Fairfax Program and the opportunities it will provide me to help improve the Fairfax Community,” said Drobnis. “Additionally, the leadership development opportunity will allow me to learn from others to help both my employees and clients.”
OptfinITy offers a full suite of IT solutions including cloud and hosting solutions, managed services, application development, website development, mobile application development and phone systems to small and medium size organizations. Headquartered outside of Washington, DC, OptfinITy services clients throughout the United States.
Michael currently serves as a Past President and board member for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, is an alumni of the FBI’s Citizens academy and is a local youth group coach.
We all hate the fact that our phone batteries run out of juice so quickly. But it’s no wonder they do since we rely on them for more and more of our daily lives, from GPS to entertainment to work emails, and once in a while, a phone call. One thing to keep in mind, they last a whole lot longer than phone batteries of the past thanks to lithium-ion technology. Follow these three tips to help extend your battery’s life and keep it as healthy as possible.
Make sure to avoid heat, this includes leaving your phone in a hot car, taking it into the sauna with you at the gym, or leaving it out in the hot sun when you’re at the beach or lounging by the pool. If you must take your phone into the sun, keep it shaded and as cool as possible.
Don’t let your phone die. Letting your phone’s battery drain till it dies is extremely bad for lithium-ion batteries. And lastly, if you’re going to leave your phone unused for a significant amount of time, for example, going on an international trip where you won’t be using your phone, make sure you store it with at least a 50% charge.
It is important to remember that this advice mainly applies to lithium-ion batteries, so in the event you have an old phone that still uses NMH batteries, seek out another tip. If you’re ready to upgrade or have questions on what is the best mobile phone for your business use, contact Optfinity and we’ll be glad you provide you with more information and tips.
Beginning January 2017, if your website asks for sensitive information and is not utilizing a HTTPS web encryption, your site and data fields will be flagged as “Not secure”. While this will not change your website’s ranking or how it operates, it may give pause to some of your clients/visitors and perhaps stop them from being more interactive or making that purchase. Some of these sensitive information fields include passwords, bank account information, social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc.
Hackers can more easily capture your data when the information at hand is being transmitted from your device to the website you’re interacting with through an HTTP site as opposed to an HTTPS site. That extra “S” means you’re accessing that particular website through an encrypted connection. There is also a padlock in the left side of your address bar notifying you whether or not you’re on a secure site.
But remember, just because you’re on an HTTPS site, does not necessarily mean you’re protected 100%! So always be cautious when entering sensitive data online. If you’re not sure how this affects your site or you’re not even aware if your site is secure and encrypted and don’t want to be stymied come January 2017, contact Optfinity today and we can provide you with a free assessment and give you advice on some next steps.
If you have a Dropbox account, be aware that hackers have stolen over 60 million account details from the online cloud storage platform company. Dropbox says it has already forced password resets within the last week, but to be safe, you may want to change your password, if you have not done so recently.
According to the company, “Our security teams are always watching out for new threats to our users. As part of these ongoing efforts, we learned about an old set of Dropbox user credentials (email addresses plus hashed and salted passwords) that we believe were obtained in 2012. Our analysis suggests that the credentials relate to an incident we disclosed around that time”.
It is also highly recommended that you change any other passwords for sites which shared the same password as your Dropbox account. Remember to use strong passwords, use a different password for each account, and utilize two-step verification, when possible. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us at Optfinity anytime!
If you can control how often you and your company have to change your passwords, you may want to stop the task of mandating forced password changes. Frequent password changes do little to improve security and could possibly make security worse.
If you cannot change this regulation within your company, you may want to at least provide your staff with some helpful advice when changing passwords. By just changing a few letters, numbers, or symbols, new, safe, secure passwords can be created that are still easily memorized by the user. Some examples are given in the article.
There are other tricks for password storage such as sites like lastpass.com which allows a user to safely store usernames and passwords for every single online account. The service is free to a point. For more tips and tricks, software solutions, or a free assessment, contact Optfinity today!
The man known as “Spam King”, Sanford Wallace, has been sentenced for his use of stolen Facebook credentials in order to spam other users. While this is great news for justice and for those of us eager to ensure our electronic safety and security, this is merely a reminder of the dangers out there!
The main point of this article, is to be vigilant in your online usage and maintain a constant dome of security around your personal information. Some good lessons are to limit your friend lists to just those you actually know. Keep private details about yourself private. Just because you limit who can see this information does not mean that a hacker can’t somehow gain access to your account and be privy to this sensitive data.
Lastly, avoid all strange and unusual links. If you receive a weird email from a trusted friend, it can’t hurt to text or call them and see if they really meant to send that to you. If they didn’t, let them know they were hacked and definitely do not click on the link! We here at Optfinity have many tools at our disposal for helping you and your staff ensure their online security and can even monitor, test, and screen their behavior to prevent accidental link clicks or wrong emails opened.
If you’re an Acer online store user, double check your credit card info and ensure no fraudulent purchases were made. If your information was lifted, you hopefully would have been contacted by Acer as the hack occurred between May 2015 and April of this year.
The assumed nature of the breach is perhaps due to internal user error. This is, by far, one of the major reasons why data breaches happen. This usually occurs when an employee accidentally gives out sensitive credentials, like passwords and usernames, to the wrong person. With one phishing email, scam phone call, or dubious website, a cybercriminal can have access to your company’s internal data.
Do not think this is limited to just large corporations. Many small businesses are finding themselves prone to these types of breaches. Ensure all of your employees know the dangers out there and how put in place procedures to mitigate these incidents. Optfinity has many tools at its disposal for its clients to help companies maintain their security and safety, and help to ensure employees are fully aware of proper protocol when dealing with sensitive credentials.
OptfinITy is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new website for Neurovascular Quality Initiative (NVQI)! After months of hard work and dedication, we are delighted to announce the new website, which can be seen at www.nvqi.org.
The goal of the NVQI website is to inform Neurosurgeons about a new mechanism to track procedures and outcomes for patients treated by surgery, endovascular therapy, or medical management, allowing for participants to investigate trends, improve care and lower costs. The site is a joint project between the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery and M2s. The site is run on a WordPress back-end.
The NVQI helps meet the demands of regulatory agencies and provides a mechanism for SNIS members to drive improvements in patient care. By tracking procedures and outcomes for patients treated by surgery, endovascular therapy, or medical management, NVQI participants can investigate trends, improve care and lower costs. We encourage you to check out their new website and, more specifically, give them a call for all your strategic business needs.
If you are looking to build a new website or give your current site a facelift, please give Optfinity a call for a free assessment.
Do you utilize a wireless keyboard at work or home? Do you type in passwords, credit card information, security answers, or other personal data? Possibly up to two thirds of all lower cost wireless keyboards are prone to hacker attacks. With “KeySniffer”, these hackers can have access to all data that is typed using the keyboard. Affected keyboards are made by eight companies: HP, Toshiba, Kensington, Insignia, Radio Shack, Anker, General Electric and EagleTec.
Higher end keyboards usually have encryption built into their products, so this hacking is not a problem. Additionally, Bluetooth keyboards are not susceptible because Bluetooth encrypts all data transmitted over the air.
So if you’re unsure of your keyboards safety, best to upgrade to a Bluetooth version if you need something wireless, or better yet, just stick to the old-fashioned wired keyboards. Want to ensure your safety until you can upgrade? Enable 2-step authentication when possible, avoid using the same password on multiple sites, and ensure security questions have answers only you would know.
Optfinity can provide you and your business with free assessments to check if all your equipment is as secure as possible. We pride ourselves in ensuring our client’s systems and data are fully secure and backed up in the event of a disaster.