As we enter a new year at UMMC, the Division of Information Systems (DIS) would like to remind everyone to beware of phishing scams that could attack your personal and professional email accounts. Phishing is a form of online fraud in which an attacker tries to gain access to your account information by pretending to be a reputable individual or company via email.
“Access to health care information is more valuable now to cybercriminals than Social Security information,” said Kevin Yearick, DIS chief technology officer. “Every day someone in the world is being hacked, and many of these cases come from preventable phishing attacks.”
DIS is taking multiple precautionary measures to protect UMMC accounts. Throughout January, all users will receive prompts to change their passwords, and accounts will soon have a two-factor authentication feature. This is similar to online banking where a security question or series of questions is used to confirm a user's identity.
Microsoft Outlook is equipped with ProofPoint, an email protection solution, to scan all incoming emails for suspicious content. Outlook also blocks any emails without a subject, due to trends in phishing emails.
Even with the most vigilant systems in place, some spam or phishing emails do sneak through. There are many steps that individual users can take in order to protect personal and professional information:
Users can also expect to see additional security precautions and changes from DIS throughout 2016 as future threats are discovered.
“DIS recognizes that many security enhancements will make an application harder to use,” Yearick said. “Know that we are committed to balancing secure solutions with usability. Without preventive measures, we leave ourselves and UMMC at an extreme risk.”
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