Practice Perfect - Sept/Oct 2017

RANSOMWARE: A REAL THREAT How Cloud Backups Guard Your Clinic From Hackers

Ransomware attacks are making headlines more and more. 2016 statistics are startling: More than 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred daily. Ransomware is popular with cybercriminals because it works! It is now a billion-dollar industry and growing. Ransomware infects computer systems in two main ways: 1) A user clicks on a legitimate-looking attachment or URL within an email. 2) A website is seeded with a malicious code. Once the infection hits the system, the malware begins encrypting all data that resides on the computer, including data within the network. The victim can no longer access their files, and they receive computer messages demanding the ransom in exchange for the decryption key. It’s important to note that authorities do not recommend that a victim pay the ransom.

One may never be completely protected against an attack; however, listed below are some key steps to help prevent it and prepare for the worst. Implement a training program for office staff on the threat of ransomware and how a system can become infected. Firewalls, anti-virus, anti-malware and anti- exploit security programs should always be up to date. Schedule scans to be automatic. • • Perform daily secure backups of critical data locally and off-site to a reputable cloud backup provider. Cloud backup is crucial in fighting ransomware. Practice Perfect has partnered with DataHEALTH, the leading provider of cloud backup for the health care industry. DataHEALTH is PIPEDA compliant, plus, it’s the only cloud backup provider to be both URAC HIPAA Security Business • Always upgrade your operating system, software and firmware to the latest version. •

Associate and NIST FIPS 140-2 encryption certified. Take advantage of a 30-day free trial along with a waived annual licensing fee for the first year. Pricing starts at $9.95 USD. Contact DataHEALTH today at 888-656-3282 (ext. 280) or visit Offer expires Friday, October 13, 2017.

FIND YOUR FLOW How to Get in the Zone Everyone has days when work just seems to fly by effortlessly. You feel laser-focused and hyper- productive. In short, you are “in the zone.” This proverbial zone, though, can feel elusive when distractions are plentiful and time is at a premium. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “Chick-zent- mee-hal-yi”) has spent his career investigating this state, which he calls “flow,” and his insights can help you harness your most productive self.

Csikszentmihalyi’s seminal work, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” asserts that finding flow doesn’t just increase your ability to accomplish tasks, it also raises your happiness level. “Whenever the goal is to improve the quality of life, flow theory can point the way,” he writes. According to his research, a state of flow is reached when skill and challenge are balanced against one another. When the challenge is too low relative to skill, boredom follows. When it’s too high, anxiety overwhelms the ability to reach flow. Just the right proportion of challenge and skill, and your mind becomes totally engaged in the task at hand.

So, how do you get yourself into flow state? The first step is to set clearly defined goals. Once you know what you are working toward, it becomes easier to maintain the focus required to reach optimal flow. The next step is to eliminate distractions that will divert your concentration. Flow is easier to maintain than it is to build up to, and you don’t want your flow broken by something that could’ve easily been put off. Use smaller activities as a way to break up larger ones, and you’ll find a more consistent work rate.

Autotelic means that you view what you’re doing as an end in itself and find the work intrinsically rewarding. If you find meaning in the activity at hand, rather than relying on external motivators, it’s easier to throw yourself into a project. The next time you find yourself going through the motions or watching the clock at work, don’t write it off as “one of those days.” Instead, take a step back, plan out your task list, and approach your assignments with vigor. Flow doesn’t strike you like a bolt of lightning; you have to work for it. Once you find a routine that puts you in the zone, stick to it, and great work will follow.

Another important component of flow is what Csikszentmihalyi calls the “autotelic experience.”


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