Tags: IT, information technology, Patterson Veterinary University, PVU, Clint Latham

10 FAQs and Common Misconceptions About Cyber Security, With Clint Latham

Recently, we announced the latest addition to Patterson Veterinary University's course catalog, "Veterinary Information Technology Fundamentals." Under the guidance of IT and cyber security authority Clint Latham, this innovative three-part series will help you learn to manage your practice's information technology like a Chief Information Officer. To help underscore the importance of safeguarding your hospital from a cyber incident, course presenter Clint Latham is sharing 10 frequently asked questions and common misconceptions surrounding the topic of cyber security. Did you know that an average of 2.5 veterinary hospitals are affected by a cyber attack each week? Read on for more surprising (but true!) stats.

 

1. How Likely is it that my veterinary hospital will be attacked by Ransomware?

On average, 2.5 veterinary hospitals are affected by a cyber attack each week.

These numbers are based off of a Cyber Edge 2020 Small Business report, factoring in the percentage of those businesses that are veterinary hospitals.

 

2. I have backups, so I won't be affected by Ransomware.

Most veterinary hospitals that are attacked by ransomware lose a minimum of 2 months' worth of data, and are without access to their practice management system for 14 days.

This information is based on Lucca Veterinary Data Security clients seeking data and cyber forensic assistance following a cyber incident.

 

3. Is having a good cyber security plan expensive?

Having proper ransomware protection can start at as little as $150 a month. Having a proper business continuity plan in place can transform a ransomware incident from a major disaster into a mild inconvenience.

This price based off of 1 server and 350GB of Data.

 

4. There are too many complex technologies and tools needed to protect my veterinary hospital.

This simply isn't the case. While you could spend loads of money on very complex and intricate tools, the best prevention is education. This includes helping your staff understand the dangers of cyber threats and what to look for, and how to respond if they think they have become a victim.

 

5. Ransomware is only a threat to big businesses.

The 2020 Cyber Edge report indicated that in the year 2020, 62.4% of small businesses in the US fell victim to ransomware. Small businsses are considered those with 50 employees or less.

 

6. Why would a hacker want to attack my little veterinary hospital?

Cyber attacks are crafted much like waterfalls. They look for the path of least resistance, and release these viruses out into the wild. If you don't take the proper precautions to "vaccinate" your hospital from cyber attacks, your hospital becomes the path of least resistance.

 

7. I have an "IT Guy." I'm covered.

In the 2020 Cyber Edge report surveying IT professionals, the highest barrier to establishing effective protections was a "lack of skilled cyber security professionals." Most IT professionals are working hard to maintain the day to day functionality of the network, making it difficult for them to stay up-to-date on the latest cyber security threats and proper protections.

 

8. I moved my practice to a cloud based practice management system, so I no longer have to worry about cyber security.

Cloud based PIMs can make it easier for cyber criminals to gain access to your client data, giving them the ability to send fake invoices via a business email compromise attack. At the time of writing this, Lucca Veterinary Data Security is working with a hospital that fell victim to this very attack and lost $47,000.00

 

9. Cyber Security is complicated, and I can't afford a cyber security professional.

To simplify things, focus on the big 5. (1) Always keeps ysstems up to date. (2) Train your employees to be on the lookout for email scams. When in doubt, delete it. (3) Use a password manager for more secure passwords. (4) Use free tools like Virustotal.com to scan files before opening them. (5) Have a good business continuity plan in place. Simply having backups isn't enough. What's your plan to keep your business running?

 

10. If you had to suggest one thing to start with to better protect my veterinary hospital from cyber crime, what would it be?

Training. According to the 2020 Cyber Edge report, IT professionals indicated that bolstering security through formal training had the biggest return on investment. Most cyber criminals look to use social engineering to force their way in. If we can stop that from happening, it makes it much harder for them to exploit our network. 

 

About Author and Course Presenter, Clint Latham

With two senior Yorkies, Clint Latham understands the need to have a trusted veterinarian to care for his family members. Clint's goal is to help uncover the mystery of IT & cybersecurity for DVMs across the country so that they can focus on what is most important: quality care for our four-legged family members. So he founded Lucca Veterinary Security. While working and speaking with veterinary practices worldwide, Clint saw a drastic increase in the number of cyberattacks to private practices. Clint decided to build a solution to keep veterinary practices protected, while simultaneously keeping IT costs under control. He is providing veterinary practices with the services they need, and nothing they don't.

Visit the Patterson Veterinary University course catalog here, to enroll in Veterinary Information Technology Fundamentals today!