Tip of the Week: Secure Your Business’ Credit Card Transactions

credit card fraud

As business owners, we often focus on credit card security for our customers and clients first and foremost. However, it should be equally as important to protect the business credit card that is used to make purchases for the company. Here are some tips and tricks to keep this incredibly important asset safe and secure.

Encrypt Everything

Business credit card encryption is an essential practice in protecting your credit card information from hackers and thieves. What is credit card encryption and how do you put it into practice?

Credit card encryption reduces the likelihood of your card information being stolen by making it impossible to access the information on the card without the corresponding encryption key. Card issuers often have some form of encryption in place, so it’s important to make sure that your credit card does to ensure company card protection.

The first of these encryption methods is the magnetic stripe on the back of your business credit card. This is a less secure method when relied on alone. Other forms of encryption are PIN and chip cards, and smart electronic chip cards. Both of which make it much more difficult for information to be accessed by anyone without authorization.

Be sure to use credit card swipe alternatives whenever possible like chip insertion, tap-to-pay, or mobile wallets. Also, when using your card online, make sure that there HTTPS appears in the URL, as this means the site is secure.

Remain Vigilant

There are countless methods that hackers can use to steal your business’s credit card info, so it’s important to be educated on them and always use caution when giving out information. Cybercriminals often conduct phishing scams, where they pose as a vendor and attempt to confirm that they have your correct payment information on file. 

Another common scam is credit card skimming. This is where an existing card reader, like at an ATM or gas pump, is used to steal information. Keep an eye out for these tactics and don’t conduct transactions where something looks or feels off. Your intuition is often correct in these situations!

Put Restrictions in Place for your Team

There should be a limit placed on the people who have access to your organization’s credit card to ensure company card protection. You should also place a reasonable cap on the card balance, which can help greatly in reducing the amount of damage that could be done if the information were to be stolen.

How to Deal with Fraud if it Happens

While preventative measures are a must, all the security in the world can sometimes still not fight off fraud. So, it’s important to know how to deal with it before it actually happens. 

If credit card fraud occurs, the first step is always to report the issue to your card company and shut off the card so the scammer cannot use it any more than they already have. Once you have done this, file a local police report and contact the federal trade commission to submit a complaint. 

Every Element of Your Business Needs to Be Secure

There are countless variables to take into consideration when it comes to your business’s credit card security. We can enhance your defense system with our comprehensive security solutions. To learn more, reach out to us at 954.474.2204.

Contact Us Today and Check Out Our Blog!

What Counts as a HIPAA Violation? – Wheelhouse IT

hipaa breach feature

HIPAA Violation: What You Need to Know

Health information is not always as private as you might believe. HIPAA violations can occur without your knowledge, putting your health at risk. These serious violations can result in fines, suspension of hospital privileges, including health plans, and criminal charges. We’ll go over HIPAA, what constitutes a HIPAA violation, and how to keep your health information safe. Read on to find out how to avoid this from happening to you.

What Is HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) ensured individuals’ health information privacy and security. The act establishes national standards for protecting electronic healthcare information and prevents healthcare fraud. It also requires covered entities, such as hospitals and doctors, to take steps to protect the confidentiality of protected health information.

HIPAA violations can happen without your knowledge. Only health care providers, their business associates, and the government can access protected health information. Individuals who knowingly obtain or disclose PHI in any manner not permitted by HIPAA may be subject to penalties for violations to criminal fines, and imprisonment for many years.

10 Most Common HIPAA Violations

There are several ways in which individuals can violate HIPAA. Some of the most common violation examples include:

  1. Unlawful disclosures of sensitive health information (PHI): This is when someone knowingly obtains or discloses protected health information in any manner not permitted by HIPAA. For example, sharing PHI with friends or family members, posting it on social media, or selling it to third-party companies.
  2. Unauthorized access to protected health information: This refers to accessing protected health information on another computer without proper authorization. For instance, accessing medical records of someone you do not know or shareseveralseveral your PHI with unauthorized individuals.
  3. Failure to record and log compliance efforts: This is when PHI is disposed of in a way that does not protect the individual’s privacy. For example, throwing protected health information into the trash can where others can easily access it.
  4. Failure to complete a risk assessment: By law, individuals must assess the safeguards needed to protect PHI. It includes what type of information needs to be protected and what steps need to be taken to remain private.
  5. Failure to manage threats to PHI’s confidentiality, integrity, and availability: This includes implementing safeguards to protect PHI from unauthorized access, alteration, or destruction.
  6. Failure to conduct risk analyses when appropriate to maintain PHI’s confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility: This often leads to HIPAA violations. It includes failure to properly password protect electronic PHI, including digital files, using unencrypted email to transmit PHI and unprotected health information on computers or networks.
  7. Inability to keep and monitor PHI access logs: This is a requirement of HIPAA. Access logs must be kept for six years and include the individual’s name, who accessed PHI, what information was accessed, and when it was accessed.
  8. Failure to enter into a HIPAA-compliant business associate agreement with vendors before providing PHI access: Under HIPAA, all covered entities who handle PHI must have a business associate agreement in place. This document spells out the terms and conditions of how protected health information will be shared between the parties involved.
  9. Failure to give copies of PHI to patients upon request Failure to set access controls to limit who can view PHI: This allows individuals only to view the specific information they are authorized to see.
  10. Failure to terminate PHI access rights when they are no longer needed: This includes former employees, students, volunteers, and other individuals who have had access to protected health information.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Health Information

There are a number of things you can do to protect your health information and avoid HIPAA violations. Some of the most important include:

Keep Your Personal Health Information (PHI) Confidential 

Avoid disclosure of PHI to anyone who is not authorized to receive it. Do not, for example, share your private health information with friends or family members who are not involved in your healthcare.

Make Sure Your Healthcare Providers Are HIPAA Compliant

Only give PHI to individuals who need it for their work. Ask what they plan to do with the information and if you agree, then share the data. For instance, if you have surgery, your doctor will need to know about all of your allergies.

Always Read Any Agreements Before Allowing Third Party Access to Your Health Records

Ensure you have read and understood the business associate agreement before granting third-party access to patient records. This document specifies the terms and conditions under which PHI may be used and the privacy safeguards that will be in place. Before any of a patient’s PHI can be disclosed to a third party for a purpose other than those expressly permitted by the HIPAA Privacy Rule, the patient must sign an authorization form.

Use a Secure Email System

When emailing PHI, use a secure email system to protect the information from unauthorized individuals. For example, the PHI should be encrypted and protected by a password.

Report Any Data Breaches 

If you become aware of security breaches, report them to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) immediately. For instance, if your health information is stolen from your doctor’s office, you should report the incident to HHS.

Review Your Notice of Privacy Practices

You should review and understand what PHI is included in the notice of privacy practice to know that you cannot share information without authorization. For example, a doctor’s office may consist of your Social Security number in the notice of privacy practices.

By taking these steps, you can help protect the privacy of patients’ health information and avoid HIPAA violations. HIPAA violations can happen without your knowledge, but you can take steps to protect yourself. 

 

By keeping personal health information confidential and sharing only what is needed, individuals can keep their health information safe and avoid HIPAA violations. This can be avoided through proper employee training and enforcement by a compliance officer or other staff member.

The Consequences of Violating HIPAA

Potential violations of HIPAA can face a number of consequences, including violation fines and imprisonment. Fines for violating HIPAA are with a minimum of $50,000 per violation, with a maximum of $250,000 per year for violations of the same provision.

Healthcare Employees who have access to health information who violate HIPAA may also be subject to civil penalties and imprisonment. For instance, a person who knowingly obtains or discloses protected health information without proper authorization or consent form could face imprisonment of up to one year.

In addition, all HIPAA violations have civil consequences as well. Individuals can be sued by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for breaching health information or disclosing it in violation of HIPAA. In addition, they can be sued by the person whose protected health information has been disclosed or breached.

The consequences of HIPAA violations are serious and should not be taken lightly.

Why Do We Need to Know About HIPAA Violations?

HIPAA violations occur every year and can have serious consequences. For example, what you do with your health information could affect the rest of your life if it is exposed in a data breach or shared without authorization. Also, what we share about our healthcare may impact others’ lives when they need to find a doctor who can treat them. By taking steps to protect your health information, you can avoid what may be a costly mistake that could follow you for the rest of your life.

Individuals need to be aware of HIPAA violations to protect their health information. By understanding the different ways to violate HIPAA, individuals can take steps to ensure their PHI remains confidential. Knowing what to do if a data breach occurs will help limit the damage if unauthorized access to PHI occurs. You should only share PHI with those who need to know, and all individuals need to understand what constitutes HIPAA violations.

 

Wheelhouse IT Managed Service Provider Offers HIPAA Compliant Solutions

Healthcare IT is a complex and ever-changing field. The regulations and compliance requirements can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned health care professional. 

Wheelhouse IT Managed Service Provider offers HIPAA compliant cloud hosting, disaster recovery, managed backup solutions to help your organization comply with HIPAA guidelines while saving you time and money. We also offer HIPAA compliance training and internal audits to businesses like yours. We know how confusing it can be to find out what’s required of you by law, so we have created this website as an easy reference guide to all things HIPAA-related. 

Our services are designed specifically for the Healthcare Industry, which means our team has worked directly with clients in your position before. Hence, we understand exactly what additional layer of support you need when it comes to security compliance issues like these. We offer a variety of different packages that will fit any budget or needs ranging from complete end-to-end management, including hardware installation/configuration, software installation/configuration, network setup/troubleshooting & monitoring, to remote 24/7 support and access to our secure HIPAA compliant cloud hosting platform.

If you are looking for a hassle-free, worry-free way to keep your healthcare data safe and compliant, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We would be more than happy to discuss our HIPAA-compliant hosting solutions with you in more detail and answer any questions you may have.

Please feel free to browse our website or contact us directly today at (877) 771-2384 to find out how we can help your medical practice, hospital, clinic, laboratory, dentist office, or other healthcare facility meet HIPAA requirements quickly and easily at a price that fits your budget.

 

We look forward to working with you to make your medical practice or organization HIPAA compliant, and you can be sure that because we are committed to helping healthcare and other medical facilities like yours meet their compliance requirements, we will do everything in our power to keep your data safe.

Phishing Attacks Are Still Getting More Sophisticated

Credit card phishing attack concept, stealing credit card details with fishing hook on laptop keyboard

Phishing attacks are nothing new in the business world, and they will almost certainly become more prevalent as time passes. Unfortunately, phishing attacks have adapted their practices to get around advancements in security technology, so businesses must work extra hard to spread awareness of phishing to their employees and train them appropriately.

Let’s discuss some of the ways your business might become the target of a phishing attack. There might even be some avenues on this list you may not have considered!

Traditional Email Phishing

Email phishing is the primary method of phishing used by hackers because of how easy it is to send mass emails to countless recipients. These phishing emails often ask users to click on links, download attachments, or confirm sensitive information. A spam filter is often enough to block most phishing emails, but spear-phishing attacks that are focused on one individual user can often make their way through.

Phone Scams

Sometimes hackers will call or text users and ask them to confirm sensitive information, like their date of birth, credit card number, etc. Especially around the holiday season, you may see texts with links to what is supposedly shipping information on a product you have ordered, but in reality, it is a link to download malware or a trap to collect your sensitive information.

Fake Websites

These are particularly crafty, as they can often mirror actual websites with slight variations of their domain name. Common targets for fake website creation are banks, well-known retailers like Amazon, and government agencies. Always assess whether you are on the correct page, and look for encryption in the URL, before entering sensitive information into any websites you encounter.

Social Media Phishing

A recent trend in the cyberthreat space is social media phishing, where hackers use social media as an intermediary for spreading threats. They might use social media messaging apps to contact people directly, or they may make posts that are seemingly quite legitimate but are in fact designed to spread malware or harvest credentials. You must be very careful on social media to avoid phishing attacks.

Ultimately, the best way to safeguard your business from potential phishing attacks is to increase awareness throughout your business. This means having a training protocol implemented for your employees, both new and existing, and constantly reinforcing cybersecurity best practices.

WheelHouse IT can not only help you implement security solutions for enhanced protection, but we can also train your employees and reinforce appropriate cybersecurity practices through periodic testing. To learn more, reach out to us at (877) 771-2384 ext. 2.