We’ll get to the point quickly… here at Veterinary IT Services we want to increase cyber awareness within the veterinary sector. To help us achieve this we have decided to offer cyber awareness CPD sessions, either as face to face seminars or webinars for free to all vets in the UK.
Okay, we admit that it’s a tad ambitious, but have you spoken to other vets about cyber security recently?
The chances are that you have noticed the increase of cyber attacks on your industry. Last October it was reported that 400 veterinary practices had been hit by the ransomware Ryuk, impacting patient records, payment systems and practice management software. Almost four months later and some of these practices still have not regained full access to their systems.
There’s no denying that threats are on the rise, and to us this is really no surprise. When we start working with a new practice we see lots of poorly configured IT setups due to a lack of understanding and awareness.
For a long time (and this is the same across most businesses) there has been an attitude of ‘it won’t happen to me’ or ‘why does this matter to my practice’.
This urgently needs to change.
Cyber security really does impact your practice in a number of ways:
- The most time sensitive matter is the 2020 Problem; on January 14th 2020 Microsoft ended support for key software. This key software is commonly used by vets especially those that utilise PMS’s such as RoboVet or RX Works. It’s more than likely that you will be unaware of this and of the consequences and the risk it puts your practice in. (You can download a free guide to the 2020 Problem here)
- Vets who work with the government on TB testing are legally required to have the Cyber Essentials certification, without which they are not eligible for such contracts. However, from our experience most practices do not even know what this accreditation is, let alone how to earn it.
- Scarily, when it comes to GDPR the majority of vets do not fully adhere to multiple segments of the regulation which involves general IT security. This means they are at risk of being victim to a cyber attack, and well as being fined by the ICO.
“But exactly how does this actually affect my practice?” we hear you ask.
If the above is ignored your risk of cyber attack increases. It really is that simple.
In 2019 the average UK business was forced to repel 66 cyber attacks per hour and these numbers are on the rise. If you and your practice are not fully educated or equipped to fend these off then you run the very real risk of downtime. This means you will be unable to access medical records, book appointments, take payment or most importantly treat patients.
When it comes to our events, the important thing for us is that as an attendee you have the opportunity to really understand the security risks your practice is facing and the steps you can take to begin protecting your business. Specifically, during our Cyber Awareness sessions we cover:
- Understanding the concept of a hacker and how they work
- What the common ways hackers might utilise to gain access to a veterinary practice
- What threats and payloads hackers might use on a veterinary practice
- The effects of a successful hack on a veterinary practice
- What vets can do to protect their practice
- Understanding what cyber essentials is
At 18.00 on 29th January 2020 our vCIO and cyber security expert Jack Peploe will be hosting our first free Get Cyber Aware CPD webinar for vets all around the UK, and we would love it if you could join us.