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Cyber Security Growing Concern for Health Care Professionals

29/09/2016


​​​​​​​​Cyber security breaches, threats and attacks are becoming commonplace in today’s business world and have proven to be huge disruptors to the most savvy of companies. You may not believe that your practice would be of interest to cyber criminals, but health practices hold a vast amount of data, including names, health histories, addresses, birthdates,  benefit and insurance information, credit card and even banking information of thousands of patients. The threat of this information being stolen by a staff member or a cybercriminal is significant.

A breach of cyber security will inevitably lead to significant expenses, both financial and reputational. Health practices that do not take steps to identify and address cyber security vulnerabilities could also find themselves with upset patients and jeopardized relationships with other stakeholders as well. Outside of losing patients and being liable for the loss of their information, organizations also have statutory obligations as a result of legislation in place to protect patient information. 

The figures around cyber security breaches are truly staggering. In 2015, over 169 million personal records were exposed as the result of 781 publicized cyber breaches across the financial, business, education, government and healthcare sectors.[1] The average global cost of each lost or stolen record containing confidential or sensitive data was $211 CDN [2]—not to mention the potentially irreparable reputational damage caused among customers, patients and business partners. And the cyber security threat is only growing: the number of security incidents rose 38% between 2014 and 2015 alone.[3]

Yet while a growing number of practices are now aware of the potential threat cyber breaches pose, many of them don’t realize how cyber-crime itself has changed and what this means to their business. As a result, many practices underestimate the risks they face and leave themselves vulnerable despite their investment in cyber security. As one of the leading Cyber Security Teams we can deliver insights into how safeguarding your data could save your reputation, fines, dollars and most importantly clients.

[1]      Source: ITRC, “ITRC Data Breach Reports - 2015 Year-End Totals.”
[2]      Source: IBM/Ponemon, “Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis.”
[3]     ​ Source: PwC, “Global State of Information Security Survey 2016."

Cyber Security Key Considerations

Do you want to make the most of limited cyber security resources? Want to ensure your investments are protecting the right assets given your business and risk profile? Here’s where to start.

  • Understand your Cyber security Maturity (Health Check)​​​
  • Ensure you understand your practice’s key business risks, as well as industry related risks
  • Test your resiliency to a cyberattack
  • Develop an appropriate response plan to a cyber attack – it’s only a matter of time before you are targeted
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You may also be interested in these articles:

The Sale of Intangibles - T​ax Planning Opportunities for Professionals
Top 10 Questions You Need to Ask -​ Saf​eguard Your Practice from Fraud

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To learn more about how MNP can help, contact Mariesa Carbone, CPA, CA, ABCP, CRMA, Business Advisor, Enterprise Risk Services, at 780.453.5377 or [email protected] or Tim Dawson, CPA, CA, Business Advisor  at 780.451.4406 or [email protected], or your local MNP Business Advisor.

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