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The name cyber security itself can be off-putting, even a little scary. The words seem to imply it is only for specially qualified, very technical professionals and not for others because it is just too complicated. This is not the case!

The National Cyber Security Centre puts it well – that cyber security is about “protecting the devices we all use (smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers), and the services we access – both online and at work – from theft or damage”.

For organisations (including small/medium organisationslarge organisations and those from the public sector) good cyber security consists of taking action to reduce the risk of cyber attacks. This means safeguarding the confidentiality and privacy and the availability and integrity of data. This is vital for ensuring the quality and safety of care and support.

Implications for Care Providers

Security breaches can happen when we use paper records, send faxes and even verbally. However, the consequences of security breaches with digital information are potentially far more severe. This is because substantial amounts of information can be distributed more easily and to a far wider audience.

The impact of a cyber breach or attack can be significant and costly. This can include

  • the time lost through having to fix your website or systems
  • the potential loss of customers
  • damage to your reputation
  • other potential consequences of a hacker getting their hands on your data.

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020, almost half of businesses (46%) and a quarter of charities (26%) report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. Like previous years, this is higher among medium businesses (68%), large businesses (75%) and high-income charities (57%).

Among these organisations, the most common types of breaches or attacks are:

Bar chart showing the most common types of data security breach or attack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furthermore, in October 2020, UK charities reported being victims of fraud or cybercrime 645 times since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic with £3.6 million in total losses.

This is why cyber security is a high priority for business and why all staff must be aware of how to implement protective measures and know what steps to take if a cyber incident takes place.