Your practice is a cyber-dinosaur and if you aren’t careful, your practice could suffer the very same fate the actual thunder lizards did. And you know what happened to them, right?
Calling industries who remain notoriously behind the techno-curve dinosaurs isn’t a statement we here made up to use in our sales pitches either. In fact, it was an article we found in Tech Crunch titled, The Dinosaurs of Cybersecurity Are Planes, Power Grids, and Hospitals, that brought it to our attention. After reading it, and using our many years of experience working with hospitals and medical practices to analyze the assertion made by its author, we couldn’t find legitimate ground to argue the point. You are, as an industry, behind, and the fact you are not moving forward is costing you more than you think.
Lax CyberSecurity Might Lead to Your Catastrophic Event
If you buy into the The Alvarez Hypothesis, you know it was a large object from the heavens that smashed into the planet, sent clouds of dust and debris skyward, and caused the sudden climate change that ultimately led to the death of the dinosaurs. There might be a similar event looming on the tech horizon for the healthcare industry as well.
Security is one of the single most important reasons to keep your tech up to date. Nothing makes a hacker salivate more than knowing you’re using old software, on even older hardware, which means it is easy for them to find how-to-hack manuals for all of it on the Internet. In other words, using old software and equipment is just inviting hackers to crawl through your security cracks and steal your valuable digital medical records.
Why wouldn’t they?
As we mentioned earlier, they already have the blueprints for beating your defenses, and selling personal information is a lucrative business.
There is a reason tech security continues to change and evolve so quickly. It has to. If it sits idle, like so many medical practices do with their networks, then the criminal element has time to catch up, and learn how to beat it.
It only takes one good security breach where patient medical records get stolen and sold on the black market to damage your public image, and potentially chip away at your bottom line. And chip away might not be the right word here. A more accurate term might be crush when you consider the lawsuits and fines that could result from your technical negligence. One major incident has the potential to cost you exponentially more than it would have to simply upgrade the server, replace a few work stations, invest in modern, professional-grade security, and pay a professional to install it properly.
Instead, at least in our experience, so many offices and medical practices are relying on security software bought off the shelf at Wal Mart, and are working on old, off-the-shelf computers from five years earlier barely modern enough to run even that.
This is just asking for trouble. It might not come tomorrow. It might not come next week. It might not even come this year. You can bet for sure, however, that just like the asteroid that crashed into the Earth and killed the dinosaurs, something will happen that wipes out everything in one fell swoop.
As Wesley Wineberg points out in his dinosaur article, there are no shortage of threats to the integrity of your network out there.
“Healthcare organizations are also a prime target. With the industry’s wide and comparatively open infrastructure, new connected devices are constantly bridging the gap for attackers to infiltrate secure networks. Even when integrated into healthcare industry-standard security suites, these devices are still the source of attacks and where attackers pivot to compromise healthcare systems.” Wesley Wineberg
Don’t Blame Us When Things Go Wrong
If you are one of our clients, we’re sure you’ve heard one of our technicians try to explain the value of protecting yourself with good security and keeping an actively-running backup copy of all of your data offsite. We also know from being on this side of the wall with those same technicians, that they often feel like they are wasting their time making those recommendations because they are so often brushed off, and accompanied with something like, “Thanks, we’ll look into that. Now get out.”
“Don’t blame us when things go wrong,” is what we want to say in those situations, which is why it is quickly becoming our motto around here. We can only advise you on what you should do to protect your data and computer network, we can’t force you to take that advice, and put it to good use. That’s because at this point, the impetus is on you.
Sure, we want to sell you products and services, and we appreciate it when you do buy them, but when we strongly recommend you need a solid data backup and recovery plan, it isn’t because we just want to take your money. We strongly recommend it because you really need to have it for your own sake, and ours if we’re managing your network. We want you to have it because we have been doing this long enough to know, eventually, something is going to go wrong and you will have to restore your network from the backed up data. We also know, when this happens, you are going to be upset, and rightfully so. We’ve also been doing this long enough to know when things do go wrong, and there isn’t a backup to restore to the network, you are going to expect miracles from us that we simply can’t perform. When a network crashes, and data gets lost, it’s essentially lost for good. There is little that can be done about it, without spending so much money recovering it, you could buy several new servers.
So we would rather you, at the very least, arrange for someone else to set you up with a data backup plan, than for you to be without one. Would we prefer you allow us to do that for you? Certainly. Just as you, presuming you are a doctor, would rather us come to you for medical treatment than to your competition. However, ultimately, and hopefully, you would rather us see your competitor than to go without medical treatment at all.
The same is true when it comes to security. We want your network to be secure. We want this not only because it makes our jobs easier, we want it because we want you, your employees, your patients, and your data, to be as safe as possible. This can’t happen when your equipment and software are inadequate, and you are unwilling to upgrade to at least the very minimum requirement for protecting yourselves.
So in a situation like that, should we be the ones who take the blame when data is stolen, a network is crashed, or everything gets wiped out? No. This is squarely on your shoulders.
At this point, if the shoe fits, then you are the dinosaur Wineberg mentioned in his article, and being a dinosaur, you are doomed to repeat history all over again.
We can help you avoid doing that, but it will require you to spend a few bucks, which we all know, is something no business owner really likes to do, but it is something that very often has to be done.
The longer you go without proper protection in place against data loss or theft, is another day you go without upholding your part of the business-to-customer relationship in which they trust you to protect the sensitive information shared with you.
This is Costing You More Than You Think
The Internet of Things is quickly catching on in the healthcare industry. In fact, it is probably catching on more quickly in healthcare than just about any industry. Technology is an important part of the business.
New scientific discoveries, new ways to do things, and ultimately newer, better equipment to make diagnosing patient illnesses more precise than ever. It wasn’t all that long ago when Hepatitis C was a death sentence, the best information you could get from a blood sample was its type, and kids had to hold a thermometer in either their mouth, or their (clears throat) to get an accurate temperature reading. Now, there are treatments that have proven successful at overcoming HepC, you can find out 1,000 different things through blood analysis, and it only takes a second to take a kid’s temperature by clicking a little plastic thing in his ear. Technology changes, it moves forward, and the medical industry is always looking for the next best thing to help them do their jobs… with the exception of the computer network, the infrastructure, if you will, that ties everything together.
As we move forward the need for a solid infrastructure is going to become more and more important, because the new equipment and devices that are coming out, are almost all wired into the internet, or at the very least, the internal network. Why even bother upgrading to new equipment if it’s not going to ever be able to reach its full potential because it’s working on a sub-par network that’s not only about to choke under the strain, but leaves security holes open wide enough to drive a train hauling 100 cars full of asteroids through?
If you’re ready to take that step, and become the responsible business owner, or medical practice manager, your customers, or patients, expect you to be, we will help you take the first step without charging you a dime. That’s right, for free, we’ll conduct a network assessment on your computer network and tell you what needs upgraded, what needs backed up,and how to make it all work safely, securely, and ultimately, more efficiently, than it does right now.