In light of a ransomware attack on a District Health Board, privacy and data protection has been shown to be more important than ever.

About 2 weeks ago the DHB was attacked by ransomware resulting in a lock out of its phone and computer systems, including patient files. This was reported to be due to an employee opening a scam email attachment, allowing hackers to access the DHB’s system.

Before the ransomware attack, the DHB was warned about the potential for cyberattacks on the information it holds. Even though the DHB responded to the warnings by supporting investment into security procedures, it still proved to be susceptible to employees receiving and opening scam emails.

The hackers demanded that the DHB pay a ransom (although unknown, thought to be several million dollars) in return for access to the systems. When the DHB refused to pay, the hackers began giving patients’ personal information to the public.

Many businesses and organisations that collect personal information are still vulnerable to privacy breaches due to the lack of knowledge around how to best protect from these threats, and the lack of investment into appropriate systems and employee training.

Additionally, many businesses also lack any plans or policies surrounding how to react in the event of a privacy breach. If a business does not take adequate steps to protect the personal information it holds, it could be liable to anyone that suffers harm as a result of a privacy breach.

To help protect against attacks like the ransomware attack on the DHB, businesses can contact privacy professionals that offer privacy training, create privacy policies, and assist with putting procedures in place to comply with their legal obligations, and to the greatest extent possible, avoid a potentially costly (financially and reputational) privacy breach.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.