Tag: cyber security

National Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds us to keep our data safe

Local, state and federal agencies are using October to educate businesses, organizations and individuals.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the United States. Agencies at a federal, state and local level use this time to provide education about safe internet use. It is applicable to everyone from individuals to companies, organizations, charities, schools, universities and anyone else who connects to the internet.

This is a concern that is familiar to computer users but mobile security remains a low priority for many.

Despite the fact that many people are aware that their mobile devices can be hacked, the most basic steps are often ignored. A large portion of the population still has not taken the most primary steps to protect their mobile devices. For example, many people have not created a password to lock their devices. Moreover, those who have a mobile antivirus app installed remain in the minority. Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to help improve this situation.

There are many threats that Mobile Security Awareness Month is hoping people will begin to recognize.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month - Mobile SecurityAmong the threats faced by mobile device users include: identity theft, viruses, phishing attempts, and online harassment. October is a good time for people to think about these concerns and take action to protect themselves against them.

Many of these efforts are exceptionally easy to implement and use. For instance:

• Parents can speak with their children about staying safe when using a mobile phone or tablet.
• Computers, smartphones and tablets should have antivirus and firewall software installed and activated.
• The added security features built right into the majority of smeartphones should be activated and used.
• Apps should be kept up to date for the most secure versions.
• Pay attention to suspicious ads, activities and behaviors and avoid opening or clicking on any of them.
• Back up files regularly and keep passwords strong – alternately use a secure password manager.

Cyber Security Awareness Month isn’t designed to frighten people. Only to educate them so they can keep their data safe. By taking these steps now, they will soon become second nature.

Hospital mobile security is a considerable tech concern

Medical care facilities have expressed apprehension over risks associated with smartphone cybersecurity.

Hospital mobile security is a concern with increasing priority in medical facilities. The use of mobile technology has made it possible to enjoy many meaningful advantages in hospitals. Nurses can communicate more quickly, care team members – including doctors – can communicate more effectively, care can be more effectively coordinated, and workflows are more efficient.

That said, this platform may be convenient and helpful, but it opens system to cybersecurity risks.

A survey of 100 hospital IT and informatics executives by Spyglass Consulting Group provided insight on this topic. The firm is located in Menlo Park, California and specializes in market research and consultancy. The participants provided a solid representation of the 2,500 hospitals across the United States with over 200 beds. The research looked into hospital mobile security with in-house technology. It examined the level of protection and concern in place. The protection was regarding patient data, the mobile devices themselves and the technology infrastructure of the hospitals.

The research revealed that hospital mobile security is a large concern despite the benefits of the tech.

Hospital Mobile SecurityManaging director and founder of Spyglass, Gregg Malkary, said “Smartphone technology has really taken on a serious role as to how it fits into clinical communication, but every time you integrate systems, there are points where the data is in the clear, and where it is vulnerable.”

The mobile security survey examined the way connected devices such as tablets and smartphones could place a hospital’s IT infrastructure and network at risk of cyberattack. Attacks included: malware, blastware and ransomware. It took into account both devices personally owned by medical practitioners and devices owned and managed by the hospitals themselves.

The survey showed the largest concerns and issues in hospital mobile security. Personally owned devices commonly contained inadequate password protection. Furthermore, they were not satisfactorily protected with security software. They typically relied on SMS messaging that was not secured in order to communicate with other clinic team members. Many of those communications included sharing patient health information. This exposed that information to access by unintended recipients.