Cyber security in healthcare

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Cyber attacks on medical practices, pharmacies or nursing services

71 percent of small businesses - including doctors' offices - consider their company too small to be the focus of cyber criminals. Due to hacker attacks alone, the German economy incurs losses of around 55 billion Euros annually (according to a study by the industry association, Bitkom). Small and medium-sized enterprises are especially vulnerable to attacks by hackers and criminals.

For physicians, pharmacists and nursing services with their own practices, the enduring loss of trust due to unauthorized access to patient information is the biggest financial risk in addition to the costs for repairing damage and loss of business. But the illegal trade in patient data continues to increase. This makes medical practices, pharmacists and nursing services particularly popular destinations for online blackmail.

E-Health - Telematics makes cyber security even more important

In summer of 2019, the networking of pharmacies, medical practices and hospitals will be further expanded. However, the introduction and expansion of telematics brings not only faster work processes, but also greater cyber risks. In addition to information, viruses, Trojans, and other malware are spreading faster, due to faster processes. The BSI also sees the entire healthcare system as a particularly vulnerable sector for hacker attacks, and eHealth legislation should take this into account with data protection regulations and protection of the IT infrastructure.

Doctors' practices, pharmacies or hospitals must now become active themselves in order to protect their IT structure from increased external attacks. Sustainable employee training in cybersecurity, IT security and privacy comes first.

Human risk factor

Criminals play to the fear and curiosity of your employees and thus manipulate them. Targeted malicious programs exploit existing vulnerabilities in micro-enterprises. About 70 percent of all cyber attacks in companies are carried out via email, according to the GDV study (Cyber Risks in the Mid-term, 2019), via so-called “phishing” emails. Thus, ignorant employees are potentially the greatest risk for cyber incidents. Only 27 percent of hackers search for extensive and targeted access to systems.


Cyber security for medical practices

According to the Ärzte Zeitung Zeitung, the majority of German medical practices are not sufficiently prepared for attacks by hackers and cyber criminals. Weak security measures make a doctor's office particularly attractive for cyber attacks. The hacker’s motivation is blackmail. The criminals steal sensitive patient data with the help of malware and social engineering and demand a ransom for the return of the data. If these requirements are not met by the medical practice, the data will be deleted in the best case, while in the worst case, resold on the Dark Web. A review of the cyber incident by IT forensics and cyber security experts is compulsory, either way.

Lack of cyber security means downtime and loss of reputation

In addition to image loss or possible ransom demands, is the loss of business, leading to great damage. Of course, modern medical practices are dependent on electronic data processing. If the internal systems cannot be used, due to malware or other cyber incidents, patient data must be reconstructed manually and on file cards in an emergency. What a lot of work this would mean, as every independent doctor can imagine!

Possible costs of a cyber security incident in a doctor’s office

about € 59.000 damage

  • € 4,000 - Computer forensics
  • € 50,000 - business interruption
  • € 500 - costs of patient notification
  • € 2,400 - if necessary, reputation management by PR agency
  • € 3,000 - possible legal assistance
  • (Source: GDV)

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IT security and privacy solutions for medical practices

Protect your practice in four steps

Perseus' approach provides a particularly efficient service for physicians and medical practices. Flexible cyber security and online privacy training teaches all your colleagues and staff about cyber security attacks and how they can identify and avert them in good time. Regular phishing tests for your employees help them implement the acquired knowledge in their daily work.

Combined with practical cyber security tools, you are protected at multiple levels. And thanks to our 24/7 emergency service you are fully supported and secured, should damage ever be incurred.

1. Easy IT security check of your practices

2. Regular online employee training, including certificates

3. Phishing tests and technical aids

4. Phone assistance and reimbursement, in case of emergency

Any questions? We are here to help you.

Arrange a free consultation with out
IT security experts. We look forward to serving you.

+49 30/95 999 80 80 (Mon - Fri 09:00am - 6:00pm)

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Privacy and IT Security for Nursing Services

Inpatient and outpatient care services are also attractive targets for attacks by hackers and cyber criminals. Sensitive patient data is turned into money on the Darknet in several ways and accordingly traded highly. According to Hans-Wilhelm Dünn, President of the Cyber ​​Security Council of Germany, bundled patient information (name, illness, medication, etc.) on the Net in some cases would be more valuable than credit card information (APOTHEKE ADHOC, 01.04.2019)

Nursing services are in the hackers’ sights

Due to often inadequate IT and data security, inpatient care facilities and outpatient care services are easy victims of attacks. Exchange and communication usually takes place via e- mail or mobile phone. In the hustle and bustle of daily work, for example, carelessness can easily occur that is already putting sensitive data from e-mail traffic or the database, on its way to the patient, in the wrong hands. The use of business or private smartphones is another major security risk. Many caregivers underestimate the fact that they can be infected with viruses and other malware via a mobile phone, just as easily as a computer.

The cyber security solution for care services

Security for customers and operation

Perseus offers affordable, all-in-one protection, that provides in-patient and out-patient care services with more privacy and cyber security. Flexible online employee training sessions make your colleagues and employees a shield against hacker attacks. Perseus online training sessions are broken up into short, easy-to-understand videos, so employees can watch them on the go, even between customer appointments, on their smartphones or tablets. After passing online exams, employees receive a certificate that gives them proof of competence in the event of possible GDPR examinations by the authorities.

With regular phishing tests, we sensitize your employees in their daily work to recognize digital dangers in promptly, thus avoiding damage to the company.

In addition to Perseus all-around protection, our handy cyber security tools are also part of your technical security. And thanks to our 24/7 emergency service you are well looked after and secure, even if should damage should occur.

Cyber security for pharmacies

Pharmacies are regarded as particularly attractive destinations for hackers. Pharmacists deal with sensitive customer and patient data, every day. This data reveals what illnesses patients have and what drugs they need and buy. Such bundled data traded in the Darknet is expensive, because you could manipulate these markets, according to Hans-Wilhelm Dünn, President of the Cyber Security Council of Germany, in the Apotheke adhoc. Simple virus scanners offer no protection against such attacks.

Small pharmacies are easy victims

Many pharmacists still assume that as a small business, they are not interesting enough for hacker attacks. In doing so, they overestimate the effort and goals of the hackers. Dangerous malware and spyware is now inexpensive and easily accessible. Taking the data and systems of a small country pharmacy hostage for a few thousand euros ransom is absolutely interesting for cyber criminals. This is especially true, because pharmacies are such easy victims, due to lack of cyber security.

Viruses and Trojans paralyze pharmacies

Whether hijacked customer data or paralyzed systems are released again, after payment of a ransom, is uncertain. Law enforcement is rarely successful. Processes can be time- consuming and costly. In the meantime, there is a loss of business and the damage steadily increases. Since 2016, such hacker attacks on pharmacies have increased. Viruses and Trojans paralyze pharmacies and provoke costly damage through lack of revenue or subsequent IT forensics.

IT security of pharmacies not up to date

97 percent of pharmacists interviewed stated that their own business would be very limited without functioning IT. At the same time, a recent test shows that virtually no German pharmacy has e-mail encryption that is up to date. (GDV: cyber risks among physicians and pharmacists, 2018).

Pharmacy cyber incident - possible costs

about 17.500 € in damage

  • €4,000 - costs for IT forensics
  • €2,500 - business interruption (5 days)
  • €1,000 - crisis communication
  • additionally, possible declines in sales
  • (Source: GDV)

The cyber security solution for pharmacies

Protect your pharmacy in four steps

One of the biggest problems in cyber security, IT security and the privacy of pharmacies lies in the ignorance of owners and employees. Man is and remains the main weak point, here. His mistakes and ignorance create gateways for criminal hackers. Perseus Protection includes online employee training sessions that can be flexibly viewed as online videos, in between times. And with phishing tests, Perseus regularly sensitizes you and your employees to possible threats from the Internet.

And should a cyber incident occur, our 24/7 emergency response team will be there to help you with the next steps, such as IT forensics, data recovery, or post-cyber security enhancements.

We take care of your cyber security, you of your business.

We enable employees to actively contribute to the cyber security of your company.

Any questions?
We are here for you.

Arrange a free consultation with our IT security experts. We look forward to meeting you.

+49 030/95 999 80 80 (Mon - Fri 09:00am - 6:00pm)