Aged care providers rush to secure IT systems

Cybercrime in Australia has reached epic proportions and aged care providers are in hackers’ clear sight.

Cybercrime in Australia has reached epic proportions and aged care providers are in hackers’ clear sight.

The aged care industry in Australia is worth a whopping $22.2 billion and one of the fastest growing due to the fast-approaching baby boomer ageing population. It has, therefore, also become a prime target for cybersecurity attacks.

Approximately, over 1,800 organisations across Australia are providing aged care services with the quality of care of residents the first and foremost priority (as it should be). However, without a firm focus on computers and communication systems, the safety of residents’ and their families’ private health and financial data is at huge risk.

Following the hack of millions of users’ personal data over these last two years, it’s no wonder aged care providers are rushing to take steps to secure their information technology platforms. The recent cases in the media have demonstrated how the damage is irreversible and preventative measures are mandatory.

The Australian Federal Government has also come down much harder on its criticism of breached companies’ cybersecurity measures after these recent hacks.

In a move to bring us in alignment with global standards, the government is putting the onus back onto the compromised companies for any breaches. It has flagged an overhaul of privacy rules and higher fines, suggesting targeted companies had effectively left the window open for hackers to steal their data.  

The highly publicised Optus breach last year admitted to the leaking of names, dates of birth, email addresses, phone numbers, postal addresses, drivers’ license numbers and passport numbers. The company later revealed customers’ Medicare numbers had also been exposed. 

That’s why it’s critical the aged care sector takes a proactive approach to the way technology plays a role in its services and how it guards consumers’ private data.

Here are several reasons why aged care providers must act now:

  • Protecting sensitive information: facilities often handle sensitive information such as consumer data, financial and health information. A cybersecurity breach could result in the theft or compromise of this information, leading to reputational damage, loss of consumer trust, and financial loss.
  • Legal and regulatory compliance: the aged care industry has legal and regulatory requirements for protecting sensitive information. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines, legal action, and other penalties.
  • Business continuity: A cybersecurity breach can disrupt business operations, leading to downtime, lost revenue, and other costs. By investing in cybersecurity, aged care providers can protect their operations from disruptions and ensure continuity.
  • Competitive advantage: A strong cybersecurity framework can be a huge competitive advantage, as consumers are more likely to trust providers who take data security seriously.
  • Ethical responsibility: As custodians of sensitive information, aged care providers have an ethical responsibility to protect consumers’ information from harm. By investing in cybersecurity, providers can fulfill this responsibility and demonstrate their commitment to all their stakeholders.

Take Our FREE T4 Group CyberSCORE Assessment 

Here’s a simple way to get an instant ‘snapshot’ of the vulnerability of your company’s IT systems. We call it our T4 Group CyberSCORE assessment. It’s a series of questions you answer online, which instantly provides you with a cyber score. This lets you know how vulnerable you really are.

Your score is based on a number of factors, including the type of data you have, regulatory compliance you may need to adhere to and other unique factors, such as the number of employees you have, facility locations, and so on.

Be assured, your answers are private and confidential.

To find out your T4 Group CyberSCORE, simply CLICK HERE. Once completed, your score is emailed to you within minutes.

In summary, if you are a proactive aged care provider, protecting your consumers’ private data is your responsibility.

In this world where aged care operators need to store, not only delicate financial information but also delicate medical data (as well as record mandatory Covid vaccinations), implementing the best professional data security and privacy protection is a MUST. 

If you require a more detailed discussion on cybersecurity for your business, please call T4 Group on 1300 765 014.