The sad reality is that, in the modern business world, retailers like pharmacies are prime targets for criminals looking to undermine digital security systems. What’s more, the current COVID-19 lockdown has coincided with an increase in phishing attacks. Hackers are sending fraudulent emails disguised as legitimate, and they aim to take advantage of professionals working remotely during the pandemic. The bad news is that many fraudsters are successful in their attempts to harvest sensitive information from retail professionals. And that’s particularly concerning for companies like pharmacies.
This article, citing reports from Google, notes that there were 522,495 active phishing sites active in March of 2020. This represents a 350% increase from the 149,195 active sites in January. No doubt, pharmacy business leaders have a lot to worry about right now –– including remote staffing challenges and implementing new safety measures. However, we do still need to remember to safeguard personal information, patient privacy, and business information.
Here are some tips to help you keep your pharmacy security on track:
Beware of Phishing Attacks
Phishing scams are varied in their execution, but similar in their formula. Essentially, they try to get professionals to share information, click on links, or take some detrimental action. Some of them are more obvious than others. This issue of the SANS newsletter is a great resource for learning more about phishing attacks, how to spot them, and how to protect yourself. It’s a good read for pharmacy employees both in professional and personal terms.
Properly Maintain Passwords
How many people have a generic password like “password1234”? Or maybe it’s your kid’s name and date of birth, or your favorite TV show. The problem? Those passwords just aren’t secure. One is a frequently used password that is easy to break; the other is simple for hackers to find with a quick search on social media. This insecure password issue is often compounded by the use of the same password across multiple applications. This means that if someone gains access to something trivial –– like your online music streaming service –– they’ll also now have your email account and banking information.
Fortunately, this concern can be addressed by using biometric login in your pharmacy point-of-sale system. By that, we mean that employees can access the system with a unique employee code and their fingerprint. This process eradicates the risk of employees sharing passwords or setting a password that they use in a dozen different places. When passwords do come into play, you can set password requirements and expiration dates to help keep things secure. Here’s a past RMS blog post on password security.
Keep your Applications Up to Date
Everything is connected on the internet these days. And anything that’s internet connected can and should receive updates. We may tend to think of updates as new features that we might care about, but maybe not right this second. What if that update breaks my phone? Or what if it makes my computer take longer to boot up in the morning? But updates in your pharmacy and your home are vitally important for security purposes. Application updates don’t just bring new features –– they can also include patches for vulnerabilities that might otherwise be exploited. So make it a point to update your systems on a regular basis!
Restrict Unnecessary Access
Internal security is important too. Use trust levels within your pharmacy point-of-sale to restrict activities and access based on employee role. Not everyone on your staff needs to have access to every security system you use. Plus, compartmentalizing like this can help business leaders promote quality organization for their team.
Though reviewing security policies can be time consuming, it is well worth the effort. At Retail Management Solutions, we work closely with pharmacies to deliver tech solutions that provide meaningful advantages. We can help you tighten your security and optimize your pharmacy’s performance. Contact us today to get started!