Did you know that the average cost of a data breach in 2017 was 3.62 million? With businesses becoming more connected and the cyber world becoming more dangerous, it pays to be protected.
You may be wondering what else you can do to protect your healthcare software system. You may have some defense measures in place. However, do you have a disaster recovery plan prepared?
Each medical practice IT support team should be aware of the value of a disaster plan and know clearly how to implement it. How does a disaster relief plan help protect a business in the event of a data breach?
If you have suffered a data breach or cyber attack, how can your plan help you to recover? Check out our in-depth guide below.
1. Stop the Attack or Seal the Breach
Loss of data because of breach or theft is not as rare as once thought. Statistics tell us that 20% of small to medium businesses will suffer a data breach every 5 years.
After taking all the precautions that are reasonably possible, the next goal should be to detect a data breach as soon as possible. Currently, it takes companies on average 197 days to detect a data breach. However, in this time, a lot of damage could be done. This damage includes the loss of personal data and damage to your organization’s reputation.
After this, the priority is to contain the data loss. This process includes immediately executing the plans that your IT department made to deny access to unwanted parties.
Finally, after the danger is identified and data loss is stopped, the next step can begin.
2. Investigating What Happened
Knowing how the attack or loss happened is the crucial next step. If the loss was because of an attack, identifying the point of entry is a priority. Likely, prior security audits will have identified weaknesses. These should be immediately assessed in case they were the entry.
During investigations, care must be taken to preserve any forensic evidence of criminal activity. Forensic evidence is crucial to the tracing of criminals and bringing charges against them.
In the case that the data breach was due to human error, retracing steps that led to the error should be paramount. What security precautions should have been taken? Were security restrictions sufficient to prevent the leak of data?
3. Communicating with Stakeholders
The priority after a breach is stopping the damage and assessing the situation has been performed. However, in many lands, there is a legal requirement to inform those affected by the loss.
This reality is especially true for healthcare industry businesses due to the sensitivity of medical records and their personal nature.
Investigations should be able to determine exactly what data was lost. On the basis of this, you can inform those affected. Whilst laws change from country to country regarding the speed with which organizations should notify victims, the general rule is “the sooner the better.”
In some cases, a simple spread email may be sufficient to inform those affected.
In the message, inform them of the time of the breach and the general nature of the files breached. Following this, a call for them to contact the company for more precise details is the most discreet way to inform them.
A fast and effective method of notifying those affected will protect your business. While the breach will cause damage, an honest and upfront approach will do more to retain customer trust than any perceived delay or deception.
The authorities should be among those that you inform as soon as possible. Compliance with regulations will further protect your organization’s reputation.
4. Beginning Restoration
Now that the damage has been stopped, you are in a position to start your recovery backup and restore plan.
Where the data breach originated with lost hardware, you may be able to address the loss by simply remotely deleting data from the stolen or lost laptop.
In the case of massive loss, you will be able to call on the cloud-based backups of your database. It may be possible to restore this from moments before the breach took place and the system was locked down.
Every company should have a detailed, practiced disaster recovery plan in place. The clarity with which the IT department understands this will have a large bearing on how quickly systems are back up and running.
5. Defending Against Further Breaches
After the application of your disaster recovery plan, you will be basically back up and running as an enterprise. However, instantly other protocols should come into play.
You will now be able to more readily identify weaknesses in the organization’s system. The race is now on to defend against the next breach—either by improving precautions against accident breach or patching holes that could allow hackers in again.
Using the data learned from the breach, work in a concentrated manner to address weaknesses. Turn those weaknesses into strengths. Doing so can give you the best chance of not repeating the loss.
At this point, you have also successfully applied your disaster recovery plan. You can now also assess this and look to further improve its effectiveness for a future time.
Medical Practice IT Support and Much More
If you are in the healthcare business, you may carry huge amounts of sensitive, life-changing, personal records. This process means that you are a prime target for hackers or that you will be devastated by a data breach.
Every medical practice IT support team should be aware of the need for good practices, solid cyber defense, and a disaster recovery plan. We are an experienced business technology support company. We leverage our years of experience to protect and support your business.
If you would like to further protect your healthcare business and plan ahead for potential disasters, we are here to help. Contact us and let us see what we can do for you.
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.