Predictable Cybersecurity Failures in Optometry

Free Close-Up View of System Hacking Stock Photo

As you step into your optometry clinic, you are
greeted by an atmosphere of disarray. To your dismay, you discover that your staff cannot access emails, management software, and important files.

Confusion fills the air as you search for a logical explanation for the sudden predicament. And then, a distressing message demanding payment in exchange for your valuable data on every computer in the
clinic leaves you gobsmacked. You have been hacked. Keep reading to learn about cybersecurity threats to an optometry clinic.
While you might be thinking why a hacker would try to steal an optometry clinic’s data, you should know that selling people’s personal information (address, email, insurance information, social security
number, medical history, and birth date) is worth thousands of dollars on the dark web. This is called ransomware.
In such situations, the hacker gives you two choices: pay the ransom or act smart and restore the data.
Although backing up and restoring the data may seem like a smart move, today, cyber criminals will blackmail you, threatening to sell your data on the dark web, which will notify Government agencies and
put your clinic in deep waters.
Here’s What You Can Do: Hackers mostly use phishing emails to find a way into your clinic. Therefore, cross-check and read every email before responding. Avoid clicking on random links, and don’t open the
email if you don’t know the sender.
When you provide third-party vendors with access to your cloud or online services, you are actually giving cyber criminals a red-carpet invitation.
Here’s What You Can Do: Ask the vendor to sign a Business Associate Agreement stating all the entities they have access to and the consequences of a breach.
What Can You Do to Minimize Risk?
Now that you know everything there is to know about cyber-attacks, here are some ideas to protect your optometry clinic from hackers and digital criminals:
● Educate your staff about cybersecurity.
● Regularly and openly communicate with the IT head of your optometry clinic to find out if they are employing the basic practices such as patching, antivirus, back-ups, and a firewall.
● Integrate a Two-Factor Authorization for all official accounts.
● Strengthen the Wi-Fi security.
● Create a disaster recovery plan.
● Secure IoT connections.
● Monitor the activity of third-party and privileged users.
● Simplify the technology infrastructure.

Even if you do everything right, the threat of a cyber-attack is always looming. A little negligence, and you might become a part of a data breach investigation. This is precisely why it is important to be
prepared and have a plan of action to deal with cybersecurity failures. Furthermore, get Cyber Liability Insurance as it will help you cover the cost of a cyber-attack, including government fines, notification
costs, attorney fees, company penalties, investigation costs, and repairing and restoring.

Remember that this is not an out-of-jail card. You must follow the best cybersecurity practices to protect your optometry clinic from threats and breaches. Even though you didn’t sign up for this job being an
optometrist, having robust cybersecurity is the best way to protect your optometry clinic’s data and reputation.

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