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Companies Need to Get Ready for Security Automation

Data protection has always been a top priority for businesses. If the wrong person gets ahold of your clients, your business practices, or your internal structures, they can easily topple the business that you’ve built. However, as we’ve moved further into using technology and the internet for business, attackers have also moved on, and cyber threats are becoming more common and more dangerous. Security automation is the up-and-coming answer to this. Here’s some information on how you can use security automation to keep your business safer.

1. Cyber Threats Have Increased Dramatically

When technology first started entering the world of business, cyber threats weren’t much of a threat at all. They existed, of course, attackers trying to get into your business and steal information or money, but a security team only needed a few members to keep them at bay. Nowadays, organizations receive thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, security alerts every day, and it’s impossible to scan all of them and do the small manual changes needed to get rid of them, especially with a small security team.

2. Security Needs To Focus On Important Threats

As mentioned, many organizations get substantially more alerts every day than they can possibly keep up with. Most security teams are made up of very skilled coders who are there to protect the business from focused, dedicated attacks, not to stare at a monitor for eight hours a day, trying to decide which alerts constitute an actual problem. Security automation gets rid of this problem by having the program deal with the small issues and passing on legitimate threats to the coders, who can then focus their attention on those.

3. Response Planning Can Be Improved Significantly

If security’s entire job is to sort through tiny issues, they don’t have the time to plan for potential data protection issues; they’re working on the ones they have right now. When a huge virus hits a company, or an attacker gets through the firewall, security needs every second they have to fight that issue, and having a previously established plan means they can address the problem immediately instead of  spending precious time coming up with a game plan before actually getting to work. Security automation gives your security team the time to plan for potential future issues so your company is prepared for the real security problems it may face.

4. Data Protection Is Even More Important Than You Think

You probably understand that your data is important — “data” spans a large amount of things, including trade secrets and internal numbers that help with growing your business. However, your data may not be protected as much as you think it is. Data protection is a complicated process, and one that is constantly changing as cyber threats do, which means you can’t afford to be behind the curve when it comes to protecting the most important pieces of your business. Security automation helps with this by continuing to move your business further into safety, something that needs to constantly be happening in order to be effective. Security automation not only helps with data protection now, but helps with it in the future too, because it can easily be updated with the most recent issues it needs to concern itself with — and that can be the difference between being safe and having your business stolen.

5. Infrastructure Should Be Automated

Though it may not right now, your software should have a central hub that sends out code, rather than every piece of software being individually coded. This is easily the most important thing you as a company can do to be prepared for security automation. If each piece of software is coded by itself, the engineers have to configure every piece every time they make a change; if the software is changed by itself when the engineers change a central code, it frees up a significant amount of time that could be used for much more important things.                                                                    

Security automation is incredibly important, and one of the most helpful IT inventions of the last few years. Its ability to keep companies secure is unprecedented, and all companies should be preparing for it, whether they’ve started to implement it or not. Data protection should be your top priority as a company, and automation technologies are seeking to help you with that.

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Top Cybersecurity Threats to Hospitals

Hospitals have traditionally safeguarded digital information so that patients, vendors, and shareholders will have the peace of mind that they deserve. Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are a lot of cybersecurity challenges facing IT administrators. In order for hospitals to stay ahead of the threats, many of their business administrators have turned to IT staff that can think outside of the box when it comes to threats facing their facility. Here are some of the top cybersecurity threats facing hospitals today:

 

Patient Records Theft:

Around 10 percent of the people that live in large metropolitan areas have HIV. In the past, health authorities and others shared their personal information so that they could track the threat of HIV spreading. The problem for hospitals has been that hacker consultants trying to create their own databases that track HIV positive people cultivated people that work at hospitals in order to try and steal patient information. The net result for someone who did get their information stolen was trouble at work because their employers didn’t want to share a group health plan with someone who would have outrageous medical costs.

California finally passed a law that levies steep fines on hospital systems that have a data breach due to internal staffers getting involved in looking at patient data when they are not their personal care team. Of course, although that curbed theft in California, the hackers moved their confidence game to Arizona, Oregon, and Washington to take advantage of hospital systems that were multi-state and could potentially access California data from outside California. For administrators, the best defense has been creating sophisticated permissions in their databases that only allow the people that should have access to view records.

 

Accounting Woes

Another problem that hospitals can face is a cyber attack on their accounting systems. Over the past two decades, many hospitals have developed internal database systems that integrate accounting with the daily activities that go on so that the costs flow directly to the financial people handling the books. The problem with that is that if you have a hospital with 300 computers, you end up with 300 access points for a hacker to try and use. The current trend, therefore, is to utilize virtual bookkeeping services. Online accounting systems that are provided as a service by a vendor are much safer because they are hosted in a world-class security data center. Only the accounting people from your hospital system are able to access records. There is also a large cost savings because your IT department no longer has to design internal security for your financial records.

 

Wireless Thieves

Several years ago, a Hewlett-Packard facility banned the use of wireless devices in their building. Part of the reason was that from outside their building and on other people’s property, they were getting hit by up to 100 local hacking attempts at any given time. For hospitals, the idea that there are that many hackers interested in gaining access should give them pause. It does no good to have all of your drug infusers networked wirelessly to a console in the pharmacy if your pharmacy application is vulnerable to attack from outside. The most common answer is to have your IT administrators work carefully with your vendors to ensure that your software access points are bulletproof.

And even if your software is secure, make sure you design your wireless system well. A few years ago at the Black Hat hackers conference, several of the world’s top hackers were hacked by wireless systems hackers that were never caught. Along those lines, there is also an application that has been sold that pulls all 7 layers of the physical network and un-encrypts the data by getting access through a different layer. When used wirelessly, it can wreak havoc.

There are many cybersecurity challenges facing hospitals today. By leveraging online software as a service through secure data centers and tightening access with sophisticated permissions and solid planning, IT administrators can stay ahead of hackers seeking to steal data from their hospital.

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