Cyber security is no longer simply an IT problem, it is an all-round business issue that needs to be treated with the maximum importance. As risk advisers to the healthcare sector, we believe it is essential to provide you with information on how best you can protect yourself and your business from Cyber crime.
The effects of a Cyber breach are not only financial, but can also affect the reputation of your business, which can have serious lasting consequences.
Proactive advice on protecting your practice data
Practice owners are becoming more savvy about Cyber crime and are increasingly coming to us as insurance brokers for wider advice around this topic.
Here are 5 important online behaviours that all practice owners and individuals should adopt to help safeguard against cyber criminals.
(1) Manage your data, safely
How is your patient data stored? Do you have an Intranet, database, CRM, flash drives, back up discs, or are you cloud-based?
Do you make regular backups that are kept off-site?
Consider who in your team knows details like bank account numbers, pin codes and even the office alarm code.
(2) Restrict access to your data
Who has access to your practice data, and is it wholly necessary for them to do so? Is it vital for your receptionist to have access to the full patient medical records, for example?
Setting up user rights is simple on most systems and allowing only certain trusted people full access is wise when it comes to data management, as it reduces the risk and helps attribute responsibility too.
Also, ensure your own passwords are strong enough for all systems and your email account. Encourage your team to also set strong passwords that are not shared between staff members.
(3) Provide adequate staff training on Cyber security
Poorly trained staff are liable to make mistakes. This applies to a simple task such as answering the phone to vital tasks such as protecting the data of your business.
Train staff on the importance of Cyber security so a simple error doesn’t lead to a larger breach.
Accidents do happen but should be avoided at all costs. Theft of hardware, such as laptops, can easily lead to Cyber crime, as can sending an email to the wrong person in error, or clicking a malicious link in a spam email.
Theft of data, such as a client list, by staff when moving jobs is also a dangerous risk for the business owner.
Reduce your risks by regularly educating your team on Cyber security measures and keeping a close eye on all operations.
(4) Recruit a good IT company
Installing software updates is vital to ensure your devices are protected as much as possible against Cyber criminals that can access your network or data through weak spots in your systems.
Security updates will help protect you and your business from viruses and hackers.
It takes just a few minutes to action, but can be detrimental in helping your business to remain low-risk when it comes to Cyber crime activity.
(5) Ensure you are sufficiently insured
Whilst your practice insurance may cover some effects of Cyber crime, it is likely that it won’t cover for all eventualities.
As Cyber crime is on the rise, particularly in the healthcare sector, it is important to ensure you have sufficient insurance cover.
Despite taking the best care, it is still possible to endure a breach simply because Cyber criminals are proficient and skilled at what they do.
Cyber insurance will give you peace of mind to provide adequate compensation to your patients as well as cover things like legal fees, replacement hardware and loss of gross revenue.
In 2017 it is essential that practice owners don’t turn a blind eye to what could result in a very serious situation, with both short and long-term consequences.