Reboot: 5 Key Tech Steps to Reopening Your Office


The first thing most offices will do upon returning is check the massive amount of emails that have piled up during the time away. However, this is one of the most dangerous places to become complacent. Make sure to not let your caution down and keep a sharp eye out for hidden landmines that could take your entire office down. 

Go through your inbox and start by weeding out anything that doesn’t require action. You cannot catch malware by opening an email, but it can tempt you to click on a link/attachment. Bottom line, if you know it’s not relevant or you’re not expecting it, get rid of it. Additionally, ensure that you’ve turned on two-factor authentication (where you get a text message when you log in from a new PC) for your inbox. Since the email system can be a gateway into an office, this will help prevent password hacking and data breaches. 


Just like any thorough security check, first start with a walk around the perimeter. Working from the outside in, start with your firewall: ensure it is working properly and has the latest firmware update from the manufacturer. Ensure that any remote access entry points have been shut down. Free trials can sometimes leave the front door open for access to your network. Next, examine your internal and guest wifi. Ensure both have different and strong passwords and are completely separate channels. Last, double check all password protected software and ensure each has two-factor authentication set up. This vulnerability overview ensures that all systems are secure and ready to work with PHI again.


Shifting Focus to the server means you’re making sure your network, software, and hardware are running in tip-top shape. Make sure you check all systems for updates and patches to keep your systems running safely and efficiently – this includes your anti-virus software, operating system patches and updates, and application updates. Check your latest system back-up and make sure multiple points are available to restore to.


Continuing to work your way around the office, it’s time to check each workstation. Go down the list to ensure each update/patch for the operating systems and malware protection has been installed on all hardware/software for all items tied into each station. Review all apps to make sure these are updated as well. Apps can include additional equipment such as printers, scanners, practice and document management software, Quickbooks, etc. Open all applications used and ensure no additional action is needed. Last, run tests to make sure your network is synced. Print a document, scan something, run your equipment. 

These steps are crucial to execute before working with patients and PHI. This could take some time depending on your office size, so plan accordingly. Taking the time to turn each of these on and allowing updates and functionality tests  will save time and ensure a much smoother reopening knowing all systems and equipment are ready to run safely.


Last, it’s good to do a comprehensive review of office technology best practices. Remind the team of the Acceptable Use Policies. Given the vast increase in ransomware and malware attacks, security is of utmost importance to be diligent about. Make sure they remember what they should and should not be doing, what not to click or open, and what to do if the suspect a suspicious email or data breach. Lastly, run a few of the typical day processes. Do a dry run as your patient would experience your office.

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