Real-Life Claims: An EW Member Responds to a Ransomware Attack

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“As a small, woman-owned business, I had no idea how easy a target we were for a ransomware attack. In August, 2018, we were attacked and it was an experience beyond our wildest imagination. We wouldn’t wish it on anyone.” Vicki D. Jones, President/CEO, WHBoutique Inc. dba Women’s Health Boutique.

The healthcare industry has become one of the top, if not THE top target for hackers. Healthcare data is rich with information hackers can exploit to make money. And it’s not just the big companies that are at risk – small to medium-sized businesses are perhaps even more vulnerable.

On top of that, with the costs of cyberattacks skyrocketing across all sectors, insurance experts estimate that 60 percent of small businesses will go out of business within a year of having a major data breach.

As attacks of this nature continue to hit providers of all sizes in all sectors of the healthcare industry, it’s critical to take every conceivable precaution to protect your data, and keep your business safe from cyberattacks.

The Outcome of Vicki’s Case

In the end, day-to-day business at Women’s Health Boutique was interrupted for five days. The data on two servers, 30 computers and their proprietary software was lost. And, the most recent backup that they could use was from three days prior to the attack.

Fortunately, their patient data wasn’t compromised or stolen, which could have led to extensive fines. Instead, it was simply encrypted to the point that no one could access it. However, between the disruption to business and loss of data, Women’s Health Boutique was still left with a lofty price tag.

Best Practices to Protect Your Business

Thankfully, we can learn from Vicki’s story, and others like hers. Read on for tools and practices to protect your business from online threats, and arm your business to protect against cyberattacks.

Hire third-party security experts to expose known threats and offer best practices.

There are companies that specialize in ongoing penetration tests where a security expert will attempt to breach your system. They will then provide a detailed report of vulnerabilities, which you can use to develop and implement security measures to protect data.

Educate your staff about protecting data.

Employees should be instructed on how to identify and handle potential cyber risks. There are several easy-to-use and trackable training programs available to help educate your staff. Regular education helps build an additional line of defense. This ensures company and customer data remain secure and protected from hackers and other online threats.

Billing software often houses valuable patient data.

However, most software allows for IP lockdown. This way it can only be accessed via the company’s protected network or offsite through a secure VPN (virtual private network) connection. Remember – when using third-party hosted software, two-factor authentication should always be activated.

Consider purchasing a Cyber Liability insurance policy.

Cyber Liability policies can cover a business’s financial liability for a cyberattack. When purchasing a cyber policy, you can expect the insurance company to also go through a list of best practices and even offer additional educational resources.

“I thought a cyberattack was excluded by our policy with VGM Insurance because it was excluded on my previous policy, but decided to ask anyway. It was completely covered! I cannot give enough accolades to the team at VGM Insurance. They were tremendous to work with. They even shared tips for security and helpful links and suggestions to make sure we secured our system so we will never have to experience this again. Thank goodness we made the switch to VGM Insurance through Essentially Women!” Vicki D. Jones, President/CEO, WHBoutique Inc. dba Women’s Health Boutique.

For more information about protecting your business from cyberattacks, or for a free Cyber Liability insurance consultation, contact Nick Rohle at VGM Insurance today! Nick can be reached at [email protected] or 866.999.7978.

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