An ounce of prevention for the healthcare industry

Security assessments for hospitals, clinics, and practices

0116-securityCyber criminals are increasingly targeting the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare industry. Unfortunately, many hospitals, clinics and practices still rely on aging computer systems that lack the latest security features.

Last year, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center became the poster child for vulnerability when a malware attack resulted in a $17,000 ransom being paid to hackers in order to regain control of their systems.

Phishing scams are also on the rise, putting billing information, social security numbers, birth dates, policy numbers, and diagnosis codes at risk. That data can be used to forge fake IDs to buy medical equipment or prescription drugs that can be resold. Taken a step further, it can be used to file phony claims with insurers.

To make matters worse, medical identity theft isn’t as easily detected as fraudulent credit card transactions, which are often flagged and canceled by banks before a cardholder is even aware of the incident.

We have to assume that cybercrime isn’t going away anytime soon, but Zones can help you with a number of tools that improve the safety, compliancy, and security of your systems. Continue reading

Who’s watching over your data?

data-securityTrouble may be lurking in your network

Data breaches are on the rise. According to a recent Ponemon Group/IBM study, the average cost of a data breach was nearly $3.79 million in 2015, and that amount is predicted to increase exponentially in the foreseeable future.

In the past year, we witnessed major commercial and government organizations receiving alarming cybersecurity breaches and attacks. Well-known organizations such as Home Depot, T-Mobile/ Experian, Ashley Madison, Sony Pictures, Anthem, Premera Blue Cross, the Democratic National Committee, and the Federal Government’s Office of Personnel Management experienced cybersecurity issues. Even the IRS wasn’t safe from attack. Despite the fact that these organizations had specialized degrees of preparedness and cyber protection in place, they still fell victim. Continue reading

Be the disruptor, not the disrupted.

It’s well-documented that companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Facebook have reaped huge rewards by tapping into massive markets made possible by emerging new business models. They were adept at quickly modernizing their networks to connect with their customers where their customer wanted to be, and with it came big benefits: engaged customers, innovative experiences, and new revenue streams.

To get ahead – and stay ahead – companies must realize it’s a whole new game now, and you don’t want to be left behind while all this digital disruption is taking place. Digitization requires IT functions to be thoroughly transformed, including sophisticated scaling to meet new demand fluctuation; increasing reliability; speeding time to market; and quickly getting digital innovations to consumers. Continue reading

The next wave of mobility

Keeping people productive – wherever they work –
is key to succeeding in today’s business climate

3.25.16-Mobility-Tablets_BLOG-HeroA decade ago, road warriors were well equipped with a laptop and a BlackBerry. Their counterparts today expect worldwide connectivity to the Internet for their personal inventories of notebooks, tablets, and smartphones.

Of course, the need of mobility isn’t limited to road warriors. Even at the office, workers expect seamless transitions between wired and wireless networks as they move about with their devices.

Because users expect to be able to work in any location – and in whatever way they want to work – they will create workarounds if you don’t fill this need. If your mobile strategy has grown organically on an as-needed basis, it’s likely that you’re not meeting users’ needs. If that’s the case, you may be encouraging workers to get “creative” to achieve their business goals. That creativity could end up compromising the security of your network and your business.

The good news is that it’s getting easier to meet expectations. The bad news is that easy solutions are not always the best solutions. Continue reading

Autodesk subscriptions give users greater access and flexibility

vsb_lt_global_campaign_lp_banner_twitter_440x220_2The software you need, when and where you need it

Through the Autodesk subscription model, individuals, teams and enterprises have more choices than ever before. Regardless of the size of your business – small, mid-size, or enterprise – Autodesk offers the flexibility to choose the subscription options that best fit your business needs. Now, you can Try out new tools without making a big up-front investment, and better manage changing software and budget needs. And with Multi-user access available for most products, more than one person can share software licenses.

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Fight ransomware. Or pay the price.

Healthcare organizations increasingly dealing with advanced threats

Print2016 has seen a spike in reported ransomware attacks in the healthcare industry. Because these attacks prevent access to patient record systems, their impact extends beyond simply doing business; they represent a threat to the delivery of care.

In February, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center announced that it had paid a $17,000 ransom to restore files encrypted by a ransomware attack. The good news is that HPMC was able to restore the data and return to normal operations relatively quickly. The bad news is that it could happen again without a comprehensive plan in place.

Just a month later, Methodist Hospital in Kentucky was crippled by a Locky crypto-ransomware attack that sent the hospital into an “Internal State of Emergency.” The Locky malware entered the network through a spam email attachment and spread across the network, infecting multiple systems. While the 4-bitcoin ransom (about $1,600) was modest, the damage done by five days of interrupted hospital operations was not. In the end, Methodist Hospital did not pay the ransom, and was able to recover by activating its backup system.

To fight – or more importantly prevent – such attacks, Cisco offers a range of security solutions including its subscription-based Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) suite that protects your endpoints, your network, and your email and web traffic. Managed through a web-based management console, AMP can be deployed on a variety of platforms to safeguard your data and your systems proactively. Continue reading

Planning a streamlined move to cloud storage

Zones Cloud Solutions and our Advanced Solutions Group make it easy

Cloud-Storage-Blog-graphic-742x388By turning to the cloud for backup and storage, organizations gain rapid and massive scalability at a reduced cost, versus expanding on-premises data center capacity. Cloud storage also offers the advantage of strong protection for data backup, archival and disaster recovery applications.

With your data stored in the cloud, many data center activities are reduced or eliminated. Without the need for manual backups and the associated hardware maintenance and management tasks, your IT staff is free to focus on business-critical tasks, increasing data center efficiency and productivity. And should disaster strike, cloud storage allows IT to restore affected data quickly, enabling your business return to normal operations. Continue reading

Advanced mobility management solutions enable a more secure mobile enterprise

Take a comprehensive approach to business mobility

3.25.16-Mobility-Tablets_BLOG-HeroThe growth of mobile infrastructures in organizations is creating the most connected workforce ever, but is your mobile strategy addressing the potential security threats that accompany this mobile revolution?

Minimizing threats while maximizing worker mobility and productivity requires a holistic approach that encompasses every aspect of the existing infrastructure – including wired and wireless networks, unified communications compatibility, security, and cloud services – as well as plans for mobile device management, device selection, app development, activation services, and, ultimately, deployment.

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Detect, deter, and analyze security events

Layered-Security-Blog-Graphic_648x432Making true end-to-end security a reality

Private businesses and public entities are responding to rising concerns about theft, fraud, and terrorism by extending infrastructure security to include a focus on physical security and surveillance systems.

In addition to deploying advanced data, network, application, server, and endpoint security solutions, the Zones Advanced Solutions Group team work alongside an organization’s security personnel to develop plans, train staff, and implement systems such as surveillance cameras, access controls, and paging and radio systems. This approach helps protect against threats from man-made and natural disasters. What’s more, systems can be far more effective and can cost less to manage when tied together over an existing IP network. Continue reading

Security threats in the cloud

Balancing risk and efficiency

Cloud-Security-Blog-Graphic_648x432Last month the Top Threats Working Group at the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) released “The Treacherous 12: Cloud Computing Top Threats in 2016,” identifying and describing critical security issues facing IT leaders today.

Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the report serves as an up-to-date guide to help cloud users and providers make informed decisions about risk mitigation within a cloud strategy. The report points out that while the cloud service model delivers a wide range of capabilities more efficiently than ever before, there are risks that come along with that efficiency.

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