Is Your Firewall Protecting Your Practice As Well As You NEED It To?
Data security and unauthorized employee access have become major business concerns for businesses today including dental offices. This is because malicious intent and the resultant loss of confidential data can lead to huge financial losses as well as corresponding legal liabilities due to HIPAA and other compliance violations. It needs to be mentioned that practices have only now begun to recognize the fact that user ignorance can lead to security being compromised out of their internal networks.
So what does a firewall really do?
A firewall blocks Incoming internet traffic depending on the source: It either restricts or allows the incoming traffic based on the rules configured for the firewall when it was set up by an IT provider. For example, if it’s against the company’s Security policy to use Instant Messengers while working, all incoming traffic from any of the popular Internet Messaging platforms will be blocked. Similarly, this system blocks some types of emails from coming into the system. As new threats emerge, new rules are put in place.
A firewall can block incoming traffic based on website content: The firewall doesn’t work just based on source or destination, but it can also filter traffic based on content. For most companies, viewing or surfing websites with adult or pornographic content is strictly forbidden. So all of this content can be effectively blocked by the firewall.
A firewall allocates Internal Resources: Even though a firewall is really used for blocking external traffic, it can be used to allocate and share resources within the company. For instance, assistants in a practice might not have access to the Internet while the dentists do.
A firewall can also block selected outgoing traffic: A firewall not only dissects and prevents trouble from incoming traffic, but also does vigilance on outgoing traffic. For example, it prevents access to inappropriate sites by your employees.
A Cyberoam firewall reports on all network traffic, network activity and such. A firewall also provides on-demand or frequent reports for the dentists or the office managers to provide a holistic view on what’s happening on the network, a report on all the traffic that went in or out of the computer network.
Technology moves ever onward and we have found a great vendor partner in Cyberoam. Cyberoam has developed an incredibly sophisticated Universal Threat Management solution – “a firewall on steroids” – just for small businesses like dental practices. We have been using this at our office and it is incredibly powerful. Not only does it block threats at the perimeter, it inspects every piece of data that comes from the internet for viruses and malware, significantly increasing your chance of avoiding a nasty virus or data breach. This certainly helps with HIPAA compliance!
Reports are generated each morning of the websites our team members have been spending time on as well as any suspicious activity on the network. These reports go to our helpdesk so our engineers can review them every day and open tickets if necessary.