Cyber security is how individuals and organisations reduce the risk of a “cyber-attack”. This can be on computers or mobile devices. It covers not only safeguarding confidentiality and privacy, but also the availability and integrity of data. This is vital for ensuring the quality and safety of care and support.

Implications for Citizens

The National Cyber Security Centre’s first UK Cyber Survey in April 2019 showed that 42% of citizens in the UK expect to lose money to online fraud. The key findings from the survey show that only 15% know a great deal about how to protect themselves from harmful activity.

This is why everyone should be aware of basic cyber security safeguards for personal use from the time they start using the internet. The same applies when participating in the management and coordination of their care and support.

Implications for Care Providers

Security breaches can occur in many ways: when we use paper records, send information using fax machines and even verbally. However, the consequences of security breaches with digital information can be 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 due to:

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

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cyber Breaches Survey 2019, 32% of businesses and 22% of charities have identified breaches or attacks. Among these organisations, the most common types of breaches or attacks are:

  • Phishing (scam) emails (80% of businesses and 81% of charities who experience breaches or attacks)
  • Others impersonating their organisation online (28% and 20%)
  • Viruses or other malware, including ransomware (27% and 18%).

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