Senior living operators tackle challenges like tight budgets and staff turnover every day. But the main focus of all management is caring for the residents and staff who rely on you. For that reason, technology and internet safety can’t be a second thought. It needs to be a top item in your budget for next year. Let’s get into why investing in IT and cybersecurity is non-negotiable for senior living operators.
The Growing Threat Landscape
It’s no longer a question of “if” but “when” a cyber attack will happen. According to a 2023 Veeam Global Report, 93% of ransomware attacks attempted to destroy backup data. Think about that. Even if you’ve taken steps to back up sensitive resident information and essential system data, cybercriminals are evolving their methods to incapacitate your last line of defense.
- Only 16% were able to recover without paying a ransom.
- 21% who paid the ransom still couldn’t recover their data.
- 56% of organizations run the risk of re-infection during restoration.
These stats paint a grim picture, but they also shed light on why cybersecurity is a necessity, not a choice.
The Budget Dilemma
Owners and operators often wrestle with realistic budgeting while ensuring optimal funding for essential areas like IT and cybersecurity. Here’s the crux: Investing now will save you immeasurably more down the line, both in financial terms and in maintaining the trust you’ve built with your residents and their families.
Bridging the Gap Between Backup and Security Teams
Your internal teams need to be on the same page. That same Veeam Global Report found that 60% of organizations believe a significant overhaul is needed between backup and security teams. High staff turnover rates in senior care make this even more crucial. Frequent staff changes create an environment where security best practices may not be uniformly understood or implemented. The investment in training and inter-departmental coordination pays off by reducing vulnerability and enhancing your overall security posture.
Why Hackers Target Senior Care
Senior care places are often targets for these bad guys. They send phishing emails and try to steal important medical records. But it’s not just the emails; it’s also the apps and tools that your staff use every day. These might not be safe enough to keep out hackers. And sometimes, the problem can be as simple as someone not knowing they’ve made a mistake. That’s why education and good software are key. Use a professional IT team that offers security awareness training for your team to up your security at the root level.
What’s the Risk?
During a cyberattack, hackers can get their hands on really important files. They can use these to steal people’s identities or even hold you for ransom, asking for a lot of money. And the fines for not keeping things safe can range from $127 to $50,000 per mistake! In May 2023 alone, 75 big healthcare breaches happened. So, it’s important to stay on top of this.
Steps to Safety
The first thing to invest in is education. If your staff knows what a cyberattack looks like, they can help stop it. Comprehensive security awareness training is essential to creating a solid foundation of awareness. Good, safe apps for talking and sharing files are also important. Look for ones that are specially made to be safe and private. Also, remember to keep an eye out for weird stuff, like strange files or apps you didn’t install. That can be a sign that a hacker got in. Be sure to ask your IT provider like vcpi for access to security awareness training for all staff.
If You Get Attacked
If bad guys do get into your system, you’ve got to act fast. Getting a professional to check your software is really important. They can tell you what went wrong and how to fix it. And don’t forget to tell people what happened. Being open can help maintain trust and guard against additional threats during the event.
Senior living organizations are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, as their residents are often reliant on technology for communication and care. As a result, many senior living organizations now consider cyber insurance to be a critical asset to their risk mitigation strategy. Cyber insurance typically covers the costs of investigating and responding to a cyberattack, as well as any damages that may result. It can also provide coverage for the loss of data or income that results from an attack. In addition to malicious cyber attacks, insurance commonly covers a wide variety of other upstream failures of technology.
Time to Take Action
According to a 2023 Veeam Global Report, 93% of ransomware attacks tried to destroy backup data, but only 16% were able to recover without paying. 21% who paid still lost their data. And 60% think a big change is needed between backup and security teams. That’s why budgeting for IT and cybersecurity is a must.
We created a helpful guide for you to better understand how having an effective IT budget can be a game changer for your growth as well as safety. Check it out, here:
Don’t cut corners when it comes to your IT budget for the coming year. Your residents, staff, and business rely on strong cyber defenses to stay safe and work well, especially when staff come and go a lot. Being smart about money means knowing where to spend it, and IT security is a place where skimping just can’t happen. That’s why vcpi offers services like security awareness training, cybersecurity, 24/7 service desk assistance, and IMS automated provisioning for seamless onboarding to name a few. We support your entire technology footprint so your team can focus on what’s important to your business, providing exceptional resident care.