As technology use continues to integrate into the daily operations of optometrists, reports of cyber-attacks are growing. Malware, ransomware, phishing and other breaches are becoming common place for small business owners and health care providers. As a business owner, you have a responsibility to protect your business records and your patients’ personal information. Prevent a cyber-attack with these five tips:

How to Prevent a Cyber-Attack

  1. Enforce a password policy

Password policies are one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect sensitive data. All employee passwords should also be changed regularly and should meet a few simple requirements, including:

  • A combination of letters, numbers and symbols
  • A minimum of 12 characters
  • Upper- and lower-case letters and numbers
  1. Educate staff

Most people know to avoid a suspicious email, but educating staff properly on cybersecurity can be beneficial. Provide an extensive list of “do’s and don’ts”, including internet usage and social media policies. With regular employee training, a large number of potential data breaches can be avoided.

  1. Encryption

Lost or stolen laptops/devices are a main cause of business data breaches. With simple file, email and full-disk encryption on employee devices, information can be protected ­- ­even if the laptop/device is lost or stolen.

  1. Be Careful with Cloud Services

When company and client information is stored in the cloud, it is technically stored off site. The information can even be stored in another country, where it may be subject to international search and seizure laws. When storing firm and client information in the cloud, ask the following questions:

  • Will the information in the cloud be encrypted?
  • Have the clients provided their written consent to place information in the cloud?
  • Does the cloud provider employ adequate security to protect the data?
  • Will the data be stored internationally? If so, will it be subject to search and seizure?

Only use a cloud provider that can provide reasonable assurance that your data will be protected.

  1. Purchase Cyber Liability Insurance

Protect your business with a comprehensive cybersecurity insurance policy from Lockton Affinity. Cyber liability insurance coverage often makes the difference between surviving a data breach, or not at all. Cyber liability coverage can help cover the costs related to a data breach, including:

  • Privacy breach notification expenses
  • Litigation
  • Loss of income
  • Regulatory fines and penalties
  • Other expenses

In addition to coverage, we can help you identify cybersecurity shortcomings of your firm and help head off future claims.