Cyber-enabled crime is one of the easiest crimes to commit in modern times. As an NHS Counter Fraud highlighted recently “Fraud is the most likely crime you will face nowadays, wherever you are on the planet”. With diplomatic and political tensions heightened in Ukraine and elsewhere, the Care Sector has already seen the signs that it is being targeted by criminals abroad. So why would a cybercriminal in Russia or elsewhere for that matter target a care home in the UK?
Care homes hold a lot of sensitive PII (personally identifiable information) on residents and their families, such as health records, financial, contact information, and staff, bank account and other financial information. This kind of data is highly valuable in the world of cybercrime as it can be sold for profit on the dark web and can be used to generate income for criminals and organised crime groups.
Criminals can quickly sell a patient’s medical information on the darknet for insurance fraud purposes. Ransomware and Phishing Attacks can seriously disrupt patient care and back-office systems making lucrative ransom demands more likely, causing disruption and untold havoc to frontline care operations.
What can Care Providers do right now to help protect themselves in this ever-pervasive fight against Cyber Crime?
1. Train your employees in cyber security awareness including training and updates on the latest Phishing scams. For example, help staff spot suspect emails when they come through.
2. Liaise with your IT provider to ensure updates and latest patches have been applied, the recent Log4j vulnerability is still present, and we need to maintain our guard.
3. Use the Data Security Protection Toolkit to help you understand all the risks your organisation faces when it comes to protecting your information assets and keeping your organisation secure. At HCPA, we have highly trained Data Security Area Leads who understand the Care Sector, and the unique pressures it faces.