10 Tips to Protect Yourself From Cyberattacks
From spam calls to sketchy emails to strange-sounding companies trying to take your information, cyberattacks are all around.
In the past, you had to worry about protecting yourself from physical threats hiding behind the corner — but now, you have to stay safe from online threats hiding behind the screen.
By now, you’ve heard all about cyberattacks; and you probably face a threat yourself every few days, weeks, or months. Someone you know (or maybe even you, yourself) has experienced a cyberattack: and these attacks are only expected to increase in the coming years.
With more technology comes more opportunities for hackers to steal your data, take your information, and sometimes even take your identity, too.
According to Norton, a leading cybersecurity platform,
With such a surge in cyberattacks, it makes sense that consumers are worried — and you might be, too. Statistics show that the majority of American adults have concerns about their cybersecurity.
These statistics aren’t a reason to ward off technology forever: but they are a reason to take the steps to protect yourself and your pharmacy business.
As a pharmacy owner or employee, you not only have to worry about protecting your information — you have to worry about protecting your patients’. In your pharmacy, you have hundreds (if not thousands) of sensitive pieces of information and private documents. It’s up to you to ensure that they don’t fall in the wrong hands.
So if you’re looking to up your security and keep your pharmacy safe in the digital age, try out these best practices.
The first, and most important, thing you can do to keep your pharmacy safe is to download antivirus software.
Antivirus software is a type of software that scans for and eradicates computer viruses and other malicious software (malware). Your antivirus software can schedule and perform automatic scans, erase viruses and malware, and confirm the health of your computer.
Norton makes a strong antivirus software, but other companies, like Malwarebytes, are designed to meet HIPAA, HITECH, and HITRUST requirements.
In addition to purchasing antivirus software, you should ensure that all of your other software systems are safe and up-to-date. This not only includes your PioneerRx Pharmacy Software System, but also your apps, web browsers, and other operating systems.
For most pieces of software, you can set up automatic updates so that you never miss out on a new update and fall behind. Updates are important because they can resolve previous software glitches that could let in viruses or hackers.
A firewall is another piece of software that is designed to prevent hackers from accessing your pharmacy’s network. While antivirus software stops threats that have already entered your system, a firewall prevents those threats from happening entirely.
Many devices have built-in firewalls, but for business settings, it’s best to get a third-party firewall to protect your network. Popular vendors include Palo Alto, SonicWall, and Cisco. Check out this article from TechTarget to learn more about firewalls and explore options for your pharmacy.
Most of your operations run on the Internet, so it’s important that your Internet connection is as secure as possible.
Your pharmacy’s WiFi network should not only be secure, but it should also be encrypted and hidden. And if you ever have to access a public WiFi network while on the job, make sure that you use a VPN (a virtual private network).
VPN vendors include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Norton Secure VPN.
Phishing is the most common type of cyberattack, but it’s also the most easily avoidable.
Phishers try to trick consumers into clicking on a link (usually sent in an email) that can lead to a security breach, so the best practice against them is to simply not click on unknown links.
As a general rule of thumb, you should never enter personal or company information in response to an email, pop-up webpage, or any other form of communication you didn’t initiate.
If you’re unsure whether or not an email is from a reputable company, contact them directly.
Many hackers, especially phishers, know how to fake their identities and make themselves look like a trusted contact, so you may have a hard time deciphering whether or not they are. If you have any doubt, it’s always best to go with your gut and contact the company to find out whether or not the request is legitimate.
By now, you know a four-number password won’t fly. Today, most websites require you to set a long password when you make an account, which includes a certain number of letters, numbers, and other characters.
That’s because more complex passwords are more secure, and they decrease the chances that hackers can get into your accounts and take your information.
Norton suggests that you create a password containing at least 10 characters, including capital and lowercase letters.
Norton also advises that you change your passwords on a regular basis. If you have a hard time keeping up, you can recruit the help of a secure password manager. A password manager can also ensure that all of your pharmacy’s passwords stay in the same place and that your team has access to the necessary credentials to sign in.
If you want to add another layer of protection, you can enable multi-factor authentication.
With multi-factor authentication, when you or your employees try to sign in to sensitive networks, you will be asked to take at least one extra step to log in — such as providing a temporary code sent to your smartphone.
Multi-factor authentication creates another hurdle that hackers have to cross in order to get your information, which means that you’re more secure when you enable it.
Cyberattacks often take aim at your data. Even with all of the right precautions, you can still fall victim to a data breach. That’s why it’s a good idea to back up your files in the event that a data breach does occur.
Backing up your files can ensure that you still have access to all of your important information and that you don’t lose anything essential. You can back up your files offline, on an external hard drive, or in a company cloud.
If you do fall victim to a cyberattack, it’s important that you report the incident right away. Send general reports to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). These reports are used for investigative and intelligence purposes, and if you report fast enough, the FBI may be able to recover your lost information or funds.
If your pharmacy falls victim to a network intrusion, data breach, or ransomware attack, contact your nearest FBI field office or send in a tip form.
Reporting cybercrimes can not only save your assets, but it can also help to track down hackers and prevent them from attacking other businesses in the future.
Cyberattacks are on the rise, but with the right practices, you can do your part to make sure that your information stays secure and your patients stay safe. Now more than ever, small businesses are targets for cybercrimes — but by investing in the right tools and following cybersecurity best practices, you can make sure your target isn’t hit.