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Cybersecurity: Improve your posture

Cybersecurity: Improve your posture

Q. What specific activities can help HME providers improve their cybersecurity posture? 

A. The answer to this question is multi-faceted. There is no “single bullet” theory that addresses every component of the complex nature of cybersecurity. However, some basic hygiene measures can help reduce the risks presented by cybercriminals in the digital world.  

First, implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to eliminate a bad actor’s ability to access the network or other digital services through a username and password, significantly reducing risk related to account takeover (ATO) activity. 

Second, implement tools that help guide and monitor end-user digital behaviors like email and internet browsing. Deploy an email phishing simulation campaign to raise end user awareness and identify weaknesses. Manage SPAM email filtering to reduce the highest risk associated with cybersecurity: end-user digital habits. The vast majority of ransomware, breaches and adverse cyber events are associated with end users who unintentionally introduce openings for bad actors through their digital behavior.  

Third, protect the “edge” of your IT network. Your firewall is the gateway to all digital traffic. Keep this device current with patches and firmware updates to maintain control and monitor the digital activities in and out of your network. In addition to managing the firewall, manage operating systems (i.e., Windows, iOS, etc.), antivirus and malware on all devices so they receive patches and updates that address known vulnerabilities and active exploits. Managing these platforms means someone inside the organization (or outsourced) is responsible for reviewing activities, assuring current versions, and having access to current reports about those environments.  

Finally, reduce risk related to recovery from an adverse cyberactivity by having multiple backups of your data, including an offsite or cloud-based copy.  

While this summary is not all-inclusive, organizations that can engage in these activities will improve their cybersecurity posture. 

Jeff Woodham is vice president of operations for Mandry Technology Solutions. Reach him at [email protected]

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