Hackers were recently able to compromise a Web portal used by the South Bend Medical Foundation to capture demographics information about patients. The incident yet again underscores the need for organizations of all sizes and in all industries to have a robust cybersecurity strategy in place.
On May 26, the South Bend Medical Foundation first discovered the issue with NoMoreClipboard, a program it uses to allow patients to view lab results online. The problem may have been around for longer than that, however, as the South Bend Tribune reported that the breach may have first appeared unnoticed around May 7. At the moment it does not appear as though financial information such as credit card numbers were taken in this breach, but the FBI, NoMoreClipboard and others are looking into the cause to find the perpetrators.
This breach is not nearly as large as the one that hit Anthem earlier this year, but it is likely not the kind of welcome Dr. Joyce Simpson was expecting when she recently took over as president of the South Bend Medical Foundation.
The state of cybersecurity today for SMBs
While breaches that affect major organizations like Anthem, Target and Home Depot may dominate the cybersecurity headlines of late, hackers are just as likely to go after smaller organizations as well. A report released last year by the National Small Business Association found that half of all organizations polled said they had been targeted by a cyberattack in 2014. This is up from 2013's numbers, and this figure will likely increase by the end of 2015. There is a reason that 92 percent of all companies surveyed by the NSBA listed cybersecurity as an important concern of theirs.
"In 2013, cyber-attacks cost small businesses on average $8,699 per attack. Today, that number skyrocketed to $20,752 per attack," the NSBA report noted. "For those firms whose business banking accounts were hacked, the average losses were $19,948 today – up significantly from $6,927 in 2013. This huge jump in cost is likely due to the increased sophistication in phishing and hacking schemes as well as an improved economy that finds greater funds available in many small firms' bank accounts than was there just two years ago."
To help your organization stay protected, it is a good idea to invest in antivirus software, firewalls, email filtering and other malware protection. Educating employees on smart web browsing practices can also help to prevent unintentional exposure.
Despite protective measures in place, sometimes a breach can still occur. In that situation, it is important to have a comprehensive plan in place to ensure business continuity and effective communication during the crisis. Businesses that store a large amount of sensitive data should also consider cyber-insurance to help protect them financially should a breach occur.
As breaches become more commonplace, it is imperative that businesses take the appropriate measures to keep their business as safe as possible. Contact Pinnacle, An Advanced Imaging Solutions Company to learn more.
Note: South Bend Medical Patients who have questions about the attack and NoMoreClipboard's support services should call the company's toll-free number — 866-328-1987 — set up for this purpose.