Home Security Architecture Optometrists advised to stay alert as cyber crimes target healthcare

Optometrists advised to stay alert as cyber crimes target healthcare

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Optometrists advised to stay alert as cyber crimes target healthcare

Optometrists in Australia are being warned to enhance their data protection measures as National Australia Bank (NAB) reveals that the healthcare sector is among the top five industries targeted by cyber criminals in the country. According to NAB Economic research, 21% of health services businesses have fallen victim to cyber-attacks, with malware and ransomware being the most common issues faced by these businesses. This has put small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the healthcare sector at a higher risk of cyber threats.

The dynamic landscape of cyber crime is exposing health practitioners’ business and client data to increased vulnerability, prompting HICAPS payments provider to advise practitioners to regularly review and upgrade their systems and protocols to safeguard their data. In the previous financial year, statistics reported a cyber crime being reported to the Australian Signals Directorate every six minutes, costing SMEs an average of $71,600. The incidents of cyber crimes surged by 23% during this period, with the healthcare sector being one of the primary targets in Australia.

Ms. Laura Hartley, the manager of security advisory and awareness at NAB, emphasized the growing threat of cyber attacks on SMEs in various industries and stressed the need for business owners to receive support to secure their operations effectively. She highlighted the importance of educating healthcare practitioners and their staff on ways to mitigate cyber security risks and protect their businesses from potential threats, such as social engineering, ransomware, business email compromise, and phishing attacks.

In response to the escalating cyber security challenges faced by healthcare operators, NAB Health and Medfin Executive Mr. John Avent announced that NAB has introduced free support services to help customers shield their businesses from cyber threats. Avent acknowledged the evolving tactics employed by cyber criminals and assured that proactive measures could significantly reduce the risks of cyber security breaches. NAB offers a range of training resources, including webinars through the NAB Business Security Hub, to assist businesses in understanding and educating their employees and customers on cyber security best practices.

As part of NAB’s comprehensive strategy to combat cybercrime and support customers, NAB Health is organizing a cyber security awareness webinar on March 5th, specifically tailored for healthcare practitioners and their businesses. The webinar aims to equip participants with essential knowledge and tools to enhance their cyber security resilience. Additionally, NAB recommends implementing the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Essential Eight, enabling automatic updates, and educating the team to identify potential red flags to protect healthcare businesses from cyber threats effectively.

Furthermore, NAB has provided additional resources for in-depth reading on cyber risk management in the healthcare sector and the challenges faced by the Australian health system in comparison to global counterparts. By proactively implementing robust cyber security measures and staying vigilant against cyber threats, healthcare practitioners can fortify their defenses and safeguard their businesses from potential cyber attacks.

In conclusion, the evolving landscape of cyber crime poses significant challenges for businesses, especially in the healthcare sector, emphasizing the critical need for continuous assessment and improvement of data protection measures to mitigate cyber security risks effectively. Education, awareness, and proactive measures are key to strengthening cyber resilience and ensuring the safety and security of healthcare businesses and their clients in an increasingly digitized world.

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