One of the biggest threats facing the healthcare sector is cybercrime. However, not many dental and medical practices fully understand the implications of a breach – which leaves them vulnerable. What more can you do to protect your practice?
Why is Cyber risk a threat to small businesses?
Small businesses are just as likely (if not more likely) than large corporations to be the target of a Cyber attack. Often the weak link if employees who are tricked into handing over proprietary information. However, IT systems can suffer breaches, particularly if crucial patches are not applied.
The FSB calculated that the cost of Cyber breaches to small businesses in 2014-2015 was around £5.26bn, with an average small business subject to four attacks every two years.
The threat is even bigger to healthcare practices
Medical records hold lucrative sensitive data that people cannot just change, like they can their bank cards. This makes them of high value to criminals and makes practices a prime target for Cybercrime.
However, not even high profile attacks like WannaCry in 2017 or Meltdown and Spectre in 2018 seem to be enough to encourage practice owners to take Cyber security seriously. The risk remains high and the number of successful attacks each year does not seem to be reducing.
What can you do to protect your practice?
Understand that the threat of a Cyber attack is real. Attacks could come in many forms from system breaches to phishing emails and calls.
Tips to protect your practice
- Educate employees – As the weak link in security, it is important to ensure employees understand what to look out for to avoid Cyber scams – be that malware in emails or requests for information from criminals. Regular training and creating a culture that facilitates good security will ensure your practice (and your patients’ records) are protected to the best of your ability.
- IT systems check-up – To keep your IT systems secure, it is a good idea to carry out routine systems check-ups and apply patches and install security updates as they are released. If you outsource your IT requirements, your partner should be able to handle this for you.
- Take regular back-ups – Making sure that you have an up to date copy of your files will make it easy to restore any lost information in the case of a ransom attack.
- Use strong passwords – Weak passwords that are easy to guess make Cyber attacks easier. Change your passwords regularly and make them complex and not easily guessable – and definitely no ‘Password123’!
- Choose Cyber liability insurance – Of course, with all the will and best practices in the world, you can still fall victim of Cybercrime. For these instances you need a back-up plan. As part of your business continuity plan, you should look into Cyber liability insurance.
Cyber liability insurance
Being a relatively new risk in terms of insurance, some companies are not fully able to articulate the benefits of its cover. However, AMP’s cover has been specifically designed with Hiscox for the healthcare industry. This means that you can be confident that the protection you have will meet your needs in the event of a claim.