How to Understand the Risks & Take Control

Data Breach Prevention

What is it?
Data breach prevention is safeguarding sensitive or controlled information and maintaining the security and privacy of individuals and organizations. In the case of a medical office, this would be electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). In the Government Contractor space, this would be Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). In the case of credit cards, this would be Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. Other industries have other compliance requirements.
Here are some key points to consider for effective data breach prevention:

Risk Assessment

All Data Breach Prevention and regulatory compliance begins with a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment (CRA). You must understand the types of data you handle, its sensitivity, and potential vulnerabilities. Conduct risk assessments regularly to identify weak points in your systems and processes.

Security Measures

Implement robust security measures, including Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), Domain Name Service (DNS) filtering of Internet traffic, Next Generation firewalls with all Security Subscriptions enabled including Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) antivirus software, Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA), Security Operations Center (SOC) with a Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) component, Full Disk Encryption (FDE) of hard drives, and a user Password Management tool. Regularly update and patch Microsoft and 3rd party software to address known vulnerabilities.

Access Control

Limit access to sensitive data on a need-to-know basis. Use strong authentication methods like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and enforce least privilege access policies.

Employee Training

Educate your employees about data security best practices, including recognizing phishing attempts, creating strong passwords, and understanding the importance of data protection protocols.

Data Encryption

Encrypt data both in transit and at rest. This adds an extra layer of protection, making it harder for unauthorized individuals to access and decipher sensitive information.

Regular Backups

Maintain regular backups of critical data both onsite and offsite. In the event of a breach, having backups can reduce the impact and aid in recovery without significant loss.

Monitoring and Detection

Implement monitoring tools and systems to detect unusual activities or breaches promptly. Real-time monitoring can help identify and mitigate threats before they cause significant damage.

Incident Response Plan:

Develop a comprehensive incident response plan outlining steps to take in the event of a breach. This plan should include procedures for containment, notification, recovery, and communication.

Compliance with Regulations

Stay updated and compliant with relevant data protection laws and regulations (e.g., HIPAA, PCI, CMMC, GDPR, CCPA). Non-compliance can lead to severe penalties in case of a breach.

Vendor and Third-Party Risk Management

Assess and manage the security practices of third-party vendors who have access to your data. Ensure they follow stringent security measures to prevent potential breaches.

Regular Cybersecurity Audits and Testing

Conduct regular security audits and penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your systems and address them proactively.

Continuous Improvement

Data security is an ongoing process. Continuously review and improve your security measures as new threats emerge and technology evolves.
Preventing data breaches requires a proactive and multi-layered approach. No single solution can guarantee complete security, but a combination of strategies and constant vigilance can significantly reduce the risk of a breach.

If you have questions about any of the above, feel free to call us for a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.

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Computer Networks, Inc. first came to our medical office in February 2006 to install the hardware for our new practice management system and electronic medical records. The experiences I had with IT support prior to Computer Networks left me thinking that I was not going to be able to find an IT company in Hampton Roads with which I could be happy.

Immediately, I was impressed by their knowledge and efficiency. Since 2006, they have continued to impress me with immediate responses to my problems and their flexibility in working with my schedule. They consistently follow through on any issue until it is resolved, while keeping me informed as to progress along the way. Even more impressive is that they have been able to identify potential problems with our hardware, practice management system, and electronic medical records before they could become operational problems.

I have been pleased beyond words by the courtesy and helpful attitudes they have provided to our medical office. They represent to me the epitome of IT support with their timely response to problems, knowledgeable staff and professional guidance that takes into account cost effectiveness as well as performance.

Susan Dover, Practice Manager Gastroenterology Associates
Norfolk, VA