Author: Derek Wiedenhoeft


DIY Security: Why It’s Usually a Bad Idea for Most Businesses

Do-it-yourself is a popular mantra among many people building websites, doing home renovations, or marketing artistic and cultural products.  Unfortunately, however, it is not an appropriate approach for some things; like network security.  Just like a home renovation DIY project gone horribly wrong, organizations taking on cybersecurity roles outside of their core competency could cause themselves ruinous, avoidable expense.

Some companies make the decision to be wholly responsible for their network security intentionally, perhaps due to cost considerations, or a lack of understanding about the frequency and harm of security incidents.  For some companies, it was simply neglected, or a tiny startup in stealth mode grew too quickly for management to keep up with all demands.

The cost of network downtime for enterprises is $5,600 per minute, which is close to $300,000 per hour.

According to Gartner research, the cost of network downtime for enterprises is $5,600 per minute, on average, which is close to $300,000 per hour.  Worse, Ponemon research found that the average total cost of a data breach in 2016 was $4 million.  Protecting against that kind of risk is a job for professionals.  Keeping a network secure can be easy.  You just have to have the right help.

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Two-factor authentication – Is it necessary? How do I get my employees to use it?

Contributing writer: Ahmed Muztaba

Why two-factor?

Today, nothing is more valuable than information. Because the majority of online content is behind the lock and key of the so-called “deep web,” it’s no wonder that hackers are more interested than ever in ferreting out secure information. Today’s great heist doesn’t require a cat burglar. A mouse is easier to maneuver.

Two-factor authorization (or 2FA) arose as a bulwark against the hijinks of Internet pirates whose Trojan Horses and phishing scams were netting easy prey. The premise is simple: by requiring a second layer of verification, it makes your data twice as hard to access illegally. You can see this everywhere; from the chip-and-pin credit card requirements to the “secret questions” that some websites require their users to answer.

By reducing the points of vulnerability in your company, both company and employee sensitive data can remain far less likely of being breached. Requiring strongly-typed password used to be enough, but with the increase in computing power and prevalence of botnets, a person or organization with malicious intent can have an immense amount of resources to harness. This means that once touch-to-crack passwords are now much easier to crack. By requiring a second layer of authentication that requires a code to be entered within a given amount of time before expiring, this can greatly prevent widespread damage.

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I Need PCI Compliance for My Small Web Store

Derek Wiedenhoeft April 28, 2017 by under Compliance 0 Comments

PCI Compliance – Critical for small businesses

PCI compliance is critical for small businesses. It is important for two reasons: it gets the company in line with the standards set up by the major credit and debit card brands, and it legitimately checks the security of the business’s systems. In other words, PCI compliance isn’t just about following rules but about protection – especially important since three in five small businesses that get hacked are bankrupt within six months.

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The Beginner’s Guide to PCI Compliance

Introduction

If your business accepts credit cards and other types of payments cards, you may have heard about something called PCI compliance. Payment card industry compliance (PCI compliance) is the meeting of guidelines developed by the PCI Security Standards Council, an open worldwide body formed to focus on payment card data protection during and following transactions. This article will explain the basics of getting started with becoming PCI compliant.

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I need HIPAA-compliant hosting. How do I get started?

Derek Wiedenhoeft March 10, 2017 by under Healthcare IT 0 Comments

So you need HIPAA-compliant hosting, and you want to know what the basics to get started are. Before we delve into the details, it helps to know the different types of companies that are concerned with HIPAA, in order to understand your relationship with the hosting provider.

 The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) defines two different types of organizations that must meet its parameters: covered entities and business associates. However, there is now a third type of organization that falls under HIPAA rules. Here is basic descriptive information for these categories from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)[i]:

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What is HIPAA Hosting and why do I need it?

Economy-class hosting vs. first-class HIPAA hosting

A hard fact of the Internet is that you need machines to be part of it – either on your own or as a service. If you are in the healthcare field and don’t want to set up servers for your website or other services in your own datacenter, you need HIPAA hosting.

All hosting is not created equal. Because there is a disparity of security and other checks and balances from one system to another, standards were created to guide oversight of infrastructure and maintain proper protection of patient data. Those standards were developed by the US Health and Human Services Department (HHS), as directed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Hence, beyond simple web hosting, anyone who is aiming to secure healthcare records needs HIPAA compliant hosting, sometimes called simply HIPAA hosting.

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Atlantic.Net Cloud Hosting: FreeBSD 11 Now Available!

Atlantic.Net is always working to provide our customers with the latest and greatest! We are happy to announce that FreeBSD 11 is now available to provision in our Cloud Hosting Portal.

If you have not already signed up, please sign up for a Cloud Hosting account here, and spin up a server in less than 30 seconds.

To see what’s new in FreeBSD 11, click here.

 


The Beginner’s Guide to HIPAA Compliance

Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is important to the covered entities and business associates that are expected by the federal government to follow the law. However, the requirements of HIPAA and its regulatory agency, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are not as rigid as they first may seem.

Why HIPAA?

The healthcare privacy and security law was written to encompass the broad array of organizations for which it was intended. For that reason, the HHS website notes that “there is no single standardized program that could appropriately train employees of all entities.”[i]

Nonetheless, training is a requirement of HIPAA, so it’s necessary to find a strong beginner’s guide that can be used to train your employees on the essentials of compliance. Most of what is available online through the federal government is either aggregations of disparate pieces of information or sizable PDFs, such as the Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information[ii] – created by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The former is a bit disorganized. While the latter can be great as course material, its 60+ pages are overkill for the purpose of an initial overview.

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