Today's Veterinary Business

DEC 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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— so having a plan and a budget to retire those old operating sys- tems by the end of 2019 is a must. Third-Party Critical Software Patches Your operating system probably has software installed that must be maintained as well. These are ap- plications like Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java, Silverlight, Firefox and Chrome. All these apps connect and touch the internet in some fashion, and they must be kept up to date. Otherwise, if you happen to be surfing the internet and a website is compromised by malware, sophisti- cated attackers can use your outdat- ed software to slipstream malware into your computers and networks. This can happen through the simple act of browsing the internet. Ask to see a report of all the different third-party applications installed on each computer at your hospital. Either uninstall what is not needed or make sure the apps are updated to protect against known threats. Business-Class Firewall and Security Subscription Ensuring that your hospital's gate- way — all inbound and outbound internet traffic — is protected by a business-class firewall is a great security practice. I am not talking about a device issued by your in- ternet service provider or one you purchase from Best Buy or Office Depot. The firewall should have a built-in security subscription to protect your practice by inspecting each and every packet that goes in and out of your network. These devices also can assist with providing secure Wi-Fi and al- lowing you to have two configured networks: public for your clients' and staff 's personal devices and private for any approved devices like hospital laptops and tablets. Web Protection Security beyond the firewall helps protect against threats. DNS (domain name services) protection is a recent security layer that has stopped virtually all infections I have been seeing. Six years ago was the last time I had to clean up an environment from malware in- fection, and I can honestly say this one layer was crucial. DNS is a simple service. Instead of remembering an IP address like, people remem- ber names like or DNS takes the name and transcribes it into a number. Security services around DNS will help ensure that if you try to visit a website or IP that is compromised, your access will be stopped. If your computer becomes infected and the malware "phones home" to the attacker, the call won't take place, preventing the machine from be- coming fully infected. Ask what type of protection outside the firewall is in place to protect DNS queries. If you don't have anything, I recommend add- ing this layer as soon as possible. Anti-virus and Anti-malware Having a centralized anti-virus solution is a must, but it also should detect and fight malware. These solutions usually require a paid subscription. Free versions work but are often not centralized for management. Ask to see a report of each and every machine in your hospital and make sure that centralized anti-virus or anti-malware software is installed and active. The software is good only if it is kept up to date and runs correctly. Using a layered approach to computer security will protect your hospital from costly downtime caused by ransomware and other malware. If you're not especially tech-savvy, ask for help from the person responsible for your hospi- tal's IT operations. Business TECHNOLOGY Joseph Axne is a member of VetPartners and the owner of IT-Guru, a provider of information technology services to veterinary practices. 4 5 6 7 The NAVC and guavaVet introduce the first-ever veterinary recruitment app connecting job seekers directly with employers at lightning speed. Find highly qualified candidates, whether you're hiring for a permanent, temporary staff or student position. Visit now and post FREE through the end of 2018 as part of our introductory offer. Find Qualified Veterinary Professionals Without Chasing Your Tail

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