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Cyber Crime and the Healthcare Sector
By Denis Repard, Commercial Director
Criminal Cyber-Attacks are on the rise, with many people/businesses caught in the patter of thinking “it probably won’t happen to me/us”. Unfortunately, many have limited awareness to the true extent of how many incidences of cyber-attacks take place, our high susceptibility of being a victim to a cyber-attack and the significant potential these criminals hold in causing real and tangible damage to us as individuals.
Recently SweetTree was subject to an attempted cyber-attack; this invigorated our desire to learn more about cyber-attacks in general. Although many may see this in the ‘inconvenience’ bracket rather than in the ‘high priority’ bracket, particularly given the priority shifts that the pandemic and Brexit have caused, I strongly believe companies such as ours have a responsibility to learn and protect their clients and employees as best they can. In fact, with limited funding supporting the fight against cyber-crime, private companies are often the only exposed conduit to effectively reach and teach people.
This point is particularly true in the healthcare sector – which is a key target for cyber-criminals due to the significant operational disruption that not being able to access healthcare data can bring in terms of day-to-day service delivery, often leveraging a higher desperation to pay any ransoms that criminals desire. Thankfully this did not happen to SweetTree due to back-up protections put in place, but it was certainly a jolt, akin to the need to check whether foundations of your house need fortifying after a small earthquake.
It was for this reason SweetTree recently enlisted the services of the fantastic Cyber Protect unit of the Metropolitan Police to provide a training session to our staff. As a result, our employees feel better equipped to not only make better choices to protect themselves, but also to protect our company and ultimately, protect the clients who we are lucky enough to care for.
A small video segment of that presentation is below, it covers a common misconception surrounding the strength of the passwords we create that are designed to protect us. A whole array of material on how best to protect you (and your business, if applicable) can be found on MET Police.
This post is designed to spread much needed awareness not only to our colleagues in the healthcare sector, but also to share awareness to all in their personal lives too, with the hope that this might just reduce the chance of your (digital) floor shaking too.