social engineering fraud    

What the Future Holds for the Healthcare Security Practitioner [SlideShare]


The healthcare security practitioner is confronted by an alarming level of violence from a wide range of threats. Many people do not understand that healthcare and social service workers are victims of violent attacks at many times the rate of other private sector workers. OSHA bulletin 3148-06R reports some Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the issue:

  • Between 2011 and 2013, workplace assaults ranged from 23,540 to 25,630 annually.
  • 70% to 74% of these assaults occurred in healthcare and social service settings.
  • For healthcare workers, assaults were 10-11% of injuries causing days off work, compared with just 3% of injuries to all private sector employees.

These BLS statistics consolidate attacks from a variety of threats into summary numbers. Going forward, the healthcare security practitioner will have to prepare for and prevent attacks from a variety of potent threats, including:

  • Severe weather
  • Workplace violence
  • Active assailants
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Uncertainties imposed by on-going healthcare reform

Note that some of these threats, notably, active assailants and terrorist threats, have been more frequent in recent years. We must assume that these trends will continue and devote sufficient resources to combat them.

Healthcare settings can be highly vulnerable simply because their mission compels them to be open to unplanned interactions with unknown individuals. Security planning must anticipate the types of violence that could occur within given physical spaces and manage limited resources to stop or channel risks to limit violence. A careful risk management plan should consider technology, employee characteristics, data-based assessment, and on-going training.

Our SlideShare for the healthcare security practitioner summarizes the threat and response possibilities for healthcare security. Flip through and consider your own security planning:

What the Future Holds for the Healthcare Security Practitioner from Lowers & Associates

Violence in the Workplace: Healthcare Bears the Brunt [Infographic]


Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals go into the caregiving role for many reasons, but most reasons center on helping people. Unfortunately, by putting themselves in this role they also face the risks of violence.

Research published by Dr. James Phillips in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2016 found “health care violence is an underreported, ubiquitous, and persistent problem that has been tolerated and largely ignored.”  In his research, Dr. Phillips found:

  • almost 75% of all workplace assaults between 2011 and 2013 happened in healthcare settings;
  • 1% of emergency department nurses reported physical assault during the last year; and
  • psychiatric aides experience workplace violence 69 times the national rate for all workplaces.

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5 Ways to Combat Social Engineering Attacks in Your Organization [Infographic]


Wikipedia defines social engineering, in the context of information security, as the “psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.” Our increasing reliance on vast networks of digital technology for information storage, research, controls, and transactions makes organizations highly vulnerable to social engineering fraud.

There is a strong urge to combat this risk with a technological fix like stronger encryption or better management controls. The problem is not a technical one because social engineering fraud is based on the exploitation of human interactions and human frailties.

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[Infographic] Your Hospital Security Program – A 3-Pronged Approach


Violent crime is on the rise in healthcare institutions, up 40% over two years, according to a recent NY Times article. In fact, OSHA reports serious workplace violence is up to four times more likely in healthcare environments than in private industry.

Public institutions, hospitals, and medical facilities are subject to all of the same risks and threats as other public environments, and sometimes even more. People entering healthcare facilities are injured, sick, or otherwise compromised enough to require care. Loved ones accompanying them are also generally under stress or carrying concern. This combination of circumstances creates a perfect storm for irritability, tension, and even hostility, something that falls on the hospital security program to predict, prevent, monitor, and manage when something happens.

The weight is on hospital security systems to find and use effective best practices to reduce threats and resolve issues with minimal disruption or harm, preferably maximizing prevention.

In our latest infographic we examine three primary components of healthcare security’s best practices designed to meet today’s tough requirements: a strong presence, complete visibility, and a prompt, thorough response.

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[Infographic] Social Engineering Fraud: Exploiting the Instinct to Trust


One of the more pervasive human risks in modern organizations is fraud through “social engineering.” Social engineering fraudsters gain access to your most valuable assets by using deceitful tactics to turn trusted employees or partners into unwitting and unwilling accomplices. This occurs at a typical loss rate of $25k to $100k per incident. This stealthy crime can be very hard to detect because the accomplice is unaware of being complicit, giving the perpetrator time to escape.

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Reputation Risk in a Twitterized World


The climax of the Academy Awards is imminent, with the announcement of the Best Picture unfolding on the stage. A PricewaterhouseCooper employee has just two red envelopes left in her briefcase. She inadvertently pulls the wrong one, and Faye Dunaway announces the winner. However, that wasn’t really the winner.

The next day, the PwC stock price fell $1.50, and the firm was all over the news, It was being blamed for the chaotic ending to the awards ceremony that saw La La Land wrongly given the Best Picture prize before the onstage correction that gave the award to Moonlight, the actual winner.

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How Your Healthcare Security Program Can Benefit from a Third Party Perspective


An effective and successful healthcare security program requires many different layers of support. Aside from program design, management, and daily staffing, there is also a strategic risk management layer to ensure your program’s direction addresses the most important security risks facing your organization.

With limited resources already stretched, many hospitals and healthcare institutions find value in having an external perspective, particularly when it comes to the functions demanding high levels of expertise and specialization. A fresh outlook can uncover hidden flaws in your program that otherwise may only be discovered in hindsight after a costly loss. Inviting a third party to help with a risk assessment, an audit, and/or various program implementations can create savings and allow you to focus in key areas so the entire program can remain healthy. Read More

6 Components of a Strong Healthcare Security Presence


A strong healthcare security program begins with a strong presence. This presence should be both seen and felt, cultivating a multi-dimensional experience of safety. Even in moments where security is subtle, like in the case of consistent uniforms, the elements of security presence can make all the difference in a patient’s experience.

Here are the key components to a strong presence: Read More

How Perception Impacts the Quality of Your Healthcare Security Efforts


We’ve all heard the age-old expression: “perception is everything”, or maybe even more dramatically, “perception is reality”, the latter attributed to political consultant Lee Atwater.

The way a program or organization is perceived by its customers, employees, and even the public at large triggers an emotional response that determines how people engage with it. Ultimately, these perceptions can influence the success (or failure) of that program or organization over time.

If the perception is one of trust and value, customers interact favorably (even generously) with engagement, with their dollars, and with word of mouth referrals. If perception is negative, the impact can be devastating. For as much as someone may respond generously after a positive experience, people are even more likely (up to 50%) to respond negatively and even give negative feedback when they have a bad experience.[1]

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4 Ways Healthcare Security is Changing with the Times


No doubt, times are changing. The U.S. is in the midst of a historic presidential transition. Economic pressures and complexities continue to squeeze the purse strings of many businesses and workers. Technology evolves more quickly than we can adopt and adapt. Communication continues to speed up and diverge in myriad directions. Volatility and violence in our social fabric continues to create tension, leaving us on the edge of our seats curious about what is going to help.

One solution that is relevant across all aspects of our life today is security. Promoting ways to feel safe and secure helps everyone relax into whatever actions are needed to continue to move us in a productive direction. This applies to us as individuals, in our homes, in our businesses, cities, airports, and other dimensions of daily life. Security is an important element to promote productivity.
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