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Cybersecurity procurement guide for veterinary practices

By February 7, 2022June 9th, 2022No Comments

Veterinary practices cannot solely rely on internal technology workforces for their cybersecurity needs. This is why, in the past few years, procurement of cybersecurity services has become an important aspect of how to fight the constant cyberattacks targeted at veterinary practices.

Unfortunately, for third party IT services is not an easy task, and in many cases, the process can result in practice owners settling for substandard services. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the outsourcing process is done carefully by ensuring you are asking the right questions and you already have requirements about the products you are procuring.

To address some of these challenges, here are a few best practices you should follow when procuring cybersecurity services for your veterinary practice:

Ask what the product does

One of the biggest challenges practice owners face when procuring cybersecurity services is getting drowned in the industry jargon and word salads from cybersecurity marketers. For example, most practice owners take statements such as “ we stop attacks before they become breaches”, “Our products are next-gen, they run on Ai ”, or “our products are able to detect and isolate targeted attacks”, e.t.c, without actually getting to hear how these products perform such tasks.

To be fair, these types of marketing gimmicks and strategies are used by these suppliers because they work, and hence why practice owners fall for them without doing a better background check.

 However, it doesn’t have to be like that, and practice owners need to take a proactive approach when procuring these services. One of the ways they become proactive is by asking what exactly these products do.

This can be done by practice owners insisting on simple explanations of what the products do. These explanations should be devoid of buzzwords and word salad, and as a practice owner, you should insist on this requirement.

It is also important to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date asset inventory to the suppliers and ask if their products can cover all listed items. Also, insist that salespeople stick to detailed specifics and quantify risks when determining if their products cover your IT cybersecurity inventory.

A good salesperson should be able to tell you how their products handle attack vectors such as passwords and DNS traffic. You should also get a clear picture of exactly how the product you are buying prevents cyberattacks targeted at your veterinary practice.

Ask about the product deployment

When looking for cybersecurity solutions from third parties, it is important to understand how they are going to be deployed. This will help you avoid problems such as buying the wrong products that are incompatible with your systems.

 This step also requires practice owners to know what type of deployment they are looking for. They have to know beforehand whether they will be going for a software as a service (SaaS) solution, cloud-based solution, or an in-house solution for their veterinary practices.

 With that in mind, practice owners can approach the procurement process with a very clear goal. This includes asking salespeople how the solutions they are marketing are deployed and how long it will take before the services are up and running.

Ask how their products will improve the cybersecurity of your veterinary practice

Most practice owners fail to ask one of the most important questions when procuring cybersecurity solutions, and that is how the products will help them and improve their cybersecurity posture.

 As a practice owner, ensure that one of the questions you ask your vendors during the negotiations process is how their products will impact your current cybersecurity standings. Practice owners need to realize that they are procuring because they want to improve their current cybersecurity measures and not just replace them.

However, many people forget that during the negotiation process, and end up replacing their cybersecurity solutions without any cybersecurity improvements. In some instances, the products they procure to replace their cybersecurity end up being worse than what they already had in the past.

 To approach this step more efficiently, practice owners need to ask for demonstrations. They also need to get their internal IT specialists involved, so they can be able to determine if the products being demonstrated are inferior to what they are already using.

 Practice owners should also ask vendors to provide more information about their platform’s architecture and their customer support model.

 The truth is, most vendors will try to evade such questions, and hence patience and persistence will be required. However, getting these answers can help you make better procurement decisions for your veterinary practice.

Need help from a trusted veterinary cyber security expert?

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