How to Protect Your Company in an Increasingly Online World [4 Tips]

Posted on in Service Solutions

By Matt Cunard, VGM Forbin The Internet offers great advantages for marketing and selling to your target audience, but it also requires you take the proper safeguards to protect your company and your customers. Security has become a popular topic lately, and for good reason. Huge data breaches at nationwide companies such as JP Morgan, Target and Home Depot and a cyber-attack on Sony have forced security out of the shadows and onto the public stage. In an October 2015 report, a Pew Research Center survey of online experts resulted in 61 percent of them saying a major cyber-attack or attacks causing widespread harm will occur by 2025. So, what does this mean to you? Though your business may not seem like the typical targets for breaches, it is best to be prepared and leave no stone unturned when it comes to your company’s online security. Here are four high-level security items you need to address now and on a regular basis to decrease your chances of being compromised online.

Payment Card Standards

As the HME landscape turns more and more toward cash payments, many customers – the more Web-savvy children of aging parents, for example – will turn online to purchase medical equipment and supplies. If you sell equipment online or take payment for anything online, you need to be in compliance with the latest Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). These standards govern everything from what security systems must be in place to protect cardholder data and authentication processes for employee data access to regular testing requirements for your security systems. For smaller businesses, these standards may seem like a headache to put in place. However, this is nothing compared to the headache you will face in trying to rebuild trust and your reputation in the event you are breached and cardholder data is stolen.

Website Security

Your website can be a great marketing and informational tool. However, it can also be an access point for criminals.
  • Even if you don’t take payment through your website, all forms in which you gather any sensitive customer/patient information should be secure using what is known as an SSL Certificate.
  • Your hosting should also be secured. Working with a secure hosting provider prevents your website from being infiltrated, making it much harder for criminals to set up a duplicate or clone site that contains malicious code.
  • Stay on top of your domain registration, as allowing it to expire means anyone can purchase it, set up a malicious site on your old domain and take advantage of any users who visit thinking they are going to your website.

Protecting Vital Files

Your patients and customers trust you to keep their information safe. By taking the proper actions, you can ensure criminals are not able to access personal patient information or payment data.
  • Regularly tested firewalls and anti-virus systems should be in place.
  • Access to vital information should be restricted to only those who need to see it and should be encrypted and require a password if possible.
  • Ensure that all databases and servers, whether on-site or at another location, are regularly tested and have the proper security in place.

Employee Education

More and more, criminals seeking to infiltrate companies do so by targeting either a specific employee or lists of employees. This makes security training vital for your employees, no matter how big or small you are. Topics covered should include:
  • How to spot fraudulent emails
  • Recognizing the signs of phishing attempts
  • Remote access protocol
  • Saving and downloading work files with sensitive information
  • Creating strong passwords or pass phrases
All it takes is one employee clicking a link in a fraudulent email for a criminal to gain access to the vital information you hold. If you found yourself scratching your head about some of the items listed above, you may need to examine your own security more closely. Top-notch security doesn’t come easily; it may take time, effort and yes, money, to put into place. Just keep in mind that it is necessary to prevent security issues that could cost you even more down the road.