Veterinary IT Security Standards of 2022
The IT Security Landscape has changed dramatically over the past 3-6 years. What it took to protect a Veterinary Practice in 2016 just doesn’t work in 2022. It’s time to ensure you have the next generation of protection in place to assure you don’t fall victim to a massive attack, data breach and extreme down time.
The first major change is making sure you are protected by “Next Generation Antivirus” protection, “Next Gen AV” for short. This new solution uses a combination of artificial intelligence, behavioral detection, machine learning algorithms, and exploit mitigation, so known and unknown threats can be anticipated and immediately prevented. Legacy AV of the past (2016-2020 solutions) just don’t work and can be sidestepped by a hacker very easily.
In the past security companies compiled a database of known attacks and code that could be used against an endpoint, often cataloging what were called signatures that are associated with specific types of malware to detect and prevent these attacks. But the “Bad Actors” (what we call hackers) have much more sophisticated approaches that find ways right around these legacy AV defenses!
So how do you know if you are using the Next Gen AV Solution? We recommend asking as a start. Ask your IT Partner what they have in place and if is classified as Next Gen AV Solution? Assure they show you that the product has prevention of both Known and Unknown Malware. Assure this solution is cloud managed and monitored to assure if/when any detections occur they are being reviewed and remediated.
2022 has also given rise to what we call Endpoint Detection and Response. (EDR). Prevention techniques like AV, patching of your computers, software updates, etc. all are important but what we call a prevent strategy. When meeting with Veterinary Practice Managers and Owners I often use the following comparison to make it easier to understand. Prevent is like locking your windows and doors to your Practice when you leave at night. Assuring things are locked prevents quick and easy access into your building, thus keeping them from being able to easily open a door or window for access.
Some Veterinary Practices subscribe to a Security Service like ADT or similar company. They place sensors on doors, windows and even have motion detection and video cameras in place. This keeps a watch over your clinic or hospital and would alert this company should an intrusion occur so that a quick response to this intrusion can occur and possibly mitigate damage to a minimum.
This is what an EDR solution is. It is like an alarm system for your computers and networks. This paired with a Next Gen AV would allow quick detection of any issues. It watches for “motion” a Bad Actor makes, or what we call a lateral attack move. It can detect if someone is in and isolate that computer or device so that it can NOT attack any other devices on your network. It allows your IT Security Partner to respond to the attack and get a good indication of how the attacked occur.
Next Gen AV along with EDR solution is the new standard of 2022. More and more Insurance Companies are requiring this solution be in place to be able to offer Cyber Security Insurance. We highly advise veterinary clinics and hospitals assure they have these new 2022 security requirements in place. We are seeing a huge spike in attacks recently and most of the veterinary practices we review are relying on old, outdated technology from 2016-2020.
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