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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Our medical office is over 10,000 square feet with over 40 employees, so we were thrilled when a robust practice management system was recently installed with the expertise of Computer Networks, Inc.

Village Family Physicians has utilized these IT consultants over the past year for many levels of IT services and network administration. Their approach to finding the highest quality in medical IT hardware and software for our particular needs is exceptional.

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I can offer the utmost in a professional recommendation of Computer Networks, Inc., as well as for Mr. Hank Wagner for any/all computer needs for your medical office or facility.

Patricia Gillin-Furr, Administrator Village Family Physicians, Inc.
Moneta, VA