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Simplify Security: Empower Yourself
This article is one installment of a three-part series centered on cybersecurity in optometric software and beyond. Stay tuned for parts two and three.
Sometimes cybersecurity can feel like a dance: two steps forward, one step back, always anticipating the next move to keep from falling behind. It's a challenge to keep up with ever-evolving technology—let alone evading the cybercriminals looking to exploit users.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to protect your practice data and personal information. In the spirit of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re covering ways you can take security into your own hands, how software companies like Eyefinity are taking up the mantle against data attacks, and where users and developers meet in the middle to ensure digital safety.
So, whether you're just getting started on your cybersecurity journey, or if you're looking to beef up your defenses, here are some great ways to keep your data in the right hands.
Lock Down Your Logins
It’s important to make things as difficult as possible for potential hackers, which is why there's often a laundry list of rules for establishing passwords: at least one number, a special symbol, an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, an ancient hieroglyph (OK, just kidding). But when it’s best practice to have a different password for each login, remembering them all can become a real pain for you, too.
This is where password managers come in. These applications lock all your login credentials behind a master password. No matter how complex all your other passwords are, with a password manager, you only need to remember one. Many password managers also auto-generate secure passwords when you sign up for a new login. Browser add-ons and mobile apps make it super simple to auto-fill password fields so you can log in, do what you need to do, and get on with your day.
Know What to Look For
It pays to be a safe shopper. Here are some features to look for whenever you’re considering a new program. Whether it’s an email account, a mobile banking app, or optometric software, if an application you hope to use employs these features, it’s likely a secure place to do business.
Multi-factor authentication (also called two-factor authentication) requires a password and a separate piece of data like a fingerprint or one-time security code to log into a program, so even if a cybercriminal figures out your password, they’ll still have another hurdle to bypass. This feature is making its way to lots of platforms, from your TV-streaming login to your bank account. While MFA isn’t user-facing in Eyefinity products, Eyefinity EHR uses it to maintain a secure connection with its servers, so you can depend on safe data storage.
It’s so easy to click the wrong link or open a seemingly harmless file, unleashing a string of attacks on your data. Antivirus software reduces human error. Antiviruses like CrowdStrike (used by Eyefinity’s cloud-hosting platform, Amazon Web Services) provide monitoring and real-time response when threats come up, minimizing the impact to business operations on the user’s end.
Encryption puts data into a code that’s unintelligible without a system capable of deciphering it. This prevents an attacker from intercepting the data, knowing what it says, and being able to use it against you. At Eyefinity, we encrypt sensitive data, whether it’s at rest (hosted on servers) or in transit (moving from the user’s device to our servers) for both server- and cloud-based products.
Consider Cybersecurity Training
Any professional knows that regular trainings are part of the job, from how to properly handle credit card information to HIPAA compliance. Why not cybersecurity training?
If you feel the urge to study up, there are free resources online where you and your employees can learn to spot the signs of phishing attacks, reduce the risk of data breaches, and build other skills that protect your information. Some are just a Google search away—government agencies like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency offer free training materials anyone can take advantage of.
Whether you’re looking to protect information critical to your practice, your patients, or your personal life, we hope you feel more empowered to take data security into your own hands. With tools like these listed above, anyone can help make their digital environments safer.
Up Next: Read Simplify Security: Seek Out Certifications to see how to elevate your practice with software that has the certifications to back up more than just your patient data.
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