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Curious about Cybersecurity? Read the March edition of JAMS

In the March edition of the Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society, we discuss the measures needed to maintain cybersecurity in the medical industry. Below are a list of FAQ’s from the FBI that can help with the security of your online systems.



  • What are some of the most prevalent cybersecurity threats to a medical clinic at this time?
    • Some of the most prevalent cybersecurity threats are criminal computer hackers and the company not keeping current on software updates. Cyber threats occur on a daily basis and can be launched from anywhere in the world.
  • With so much spam email / messages being sent these days, should clinics ignore spam? If not, is there a way to know which messages / threats to take seriously?
    • Clinics should be very cautious related to emails that are suspected as spam. The FBI is committed to finding the people who code and distribute malicious software that is used to steal American businesses and individuals
  • Could you share two-four tips to protect against insider risk?
    • Enforcing strict data policies to secure the clinic’s intellectual property and changing password access to building when employee resigns are two ways in which to protect the company from an insider strike. Cyber adversaries, which include the strikes made by an insider risk, will exploit any vulnerability that they can find.
  • Does the FBI have tips on (fairly) vetting an IT company before choosing it to protect networks and data?
    • Ask for recommendations from the IT company that you are interested in. In addition, contact your business partners for IT company recommendations.
  • What are signs (particularly subtle things that the average person might miss) that your system is already being affected by malware / infected / hacked in some way?
    • Look for unusual computer activity; Computer’s password no longer works; File contents have been changed; Look for standard hacker malware; Browser toolbars which you didn’t add appear; Check for intruders on your Wi-Fi network. Ransomware has become a significant threat to businesses in the United States according to the FBI and we encourage victims to not pay a hacker’s ransom demand.
  • When the worst happens, what is the correct response? First steps to take? What will the FBI need in order to help solve your problem?
    • Find the source; Perform a cyber security audit; Change your passwords; Get your account back to normal status; Share with your business partners, friends and family that you have been hacked. The FBI recommend that users make and keep offline backups in order to restore from backups if necessary.
  • Definition of terms: What is whitelisting? Segmenting? Other crucial terms to know?
    • Whitelisting – A whitelist is a list or register of entities that are being provided a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition.
      • Entities on the list will be accepted, approved and/or recognized.
      • Whitelisting is the reverse of blacklisting, the practice of identifying entities that are denied, unrecognized, or ostracized.
    • Segmenting – Segmentation is the division of email subscribers into smaller segments based on set criteria. Typically, segmentation is used as a personalization tactic to deliver more relevant email marketing to subscribers based on their geographic location, interests, purchase history, and much more.
  • Tips on building a defendable network:
    • To prevent ransomware and other attacks that abuse your networks, provide multiple layers of protection for complete coverage. These in include: (1) Pre-breach/ Mitigation, (2) Active Breach, (3) Post-breach, and (4) Active Monitoring.  According to the FBI, the following steps will greatly assist most businesses and users being victimized by cyber attacks:  Use the most current and patched version of your operating system; Use the most current version of your applications; Keep your preferred anti-malware service up-to-date; and, Do not open documents or click on links sent from an untrusted source over the Internet.
  • Tips on generating clean backups in case of emergency:
    • Make full back-ups of your computer systems and data; store one backup onsite and one backup offsite. The FBI recommends that users make and keep off-line backups in safe location.


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