Tackling Cyber Risks in Residential Care Facilities

Posted on: November 15, 2023 by Huntersure

Technology advancements have positively impacted the residential care industry, but they’ve also brought new risks. As facilities increasingly rely on digital systems, they’ve faced phishing scams, ransomware, and cybersecurity breaches. Older individuals are especially at risk for social engineering, which can lead to identity theft. 

It’s essential that residential care facilities take precautions against these dangers. Agents can assist by educating clients about the benefits of mitigating cyber risks with comprehensive liability insurance.

Cyber Risks in Residential Care Facilities

Personal information is incredibly valuable to criminals, as they can sell it to the highest bidder or use it to impersonate others. Bad actors can rack up thousands of dollars in debt, ruining strangers’ credit histories without facing consequences.

Residential care facilities store patient health data, which is personally and financially sensitive. Cybercriminals can use medical records to commit a range of fraud:

  • Obtain prescription medications
  • Apply for Medicare and Medicaid benefits
  • Access expensive medical devices and procedures

These facilities are also vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches on several fronts. Phishing is an old yet effective tactic where fraudsters send professional-looking emails in hopes of tricking staff into accessing fake websites. These emails may also be vehicles for ransomware, which allows hackers to take control of devices.

Impact of Cyberattacks on Residential Care Facilities

Ransomware can bring business to a standstill. In a senior living center, that can interfere with vital medical care, putting patients in danger. Even in cases where business operations continue, the administration must deal with the added stress of an ongoing crisis.

Data breaches are also a matter of professional liability. Patients and their representatives can sue if the facility was negligent. There are also legal repercussions, as health care data is highly regulated:

  • Fines for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act violations
  • Covering costs of regulatory investigations
  • Prison time

Importance of Professional Liability Insurance

The good news is that residential care home insurance can help facilities recover after a breach. Liability coverage protects these organizations against liabilities arising from professional services rendered. For instance, this type of insurance can pay for a legal defense against a civil suit for negligence.

Policies that cover cybersecurity liability can also assist with the cost of recovery. Companies must contact victims to inform them of a data breach, which is an expensive endeavor. The right professional liability policy can cover these costs, including credit monitoring for affected individuals.

Best Practices to Prevent Cybersecurity Liability

Cybersecurity will only grow more important as hackers develop new ways to infiltrate digital systems. As a result, residential home facilities must take proactive measures to protect patients:

  • Create a breach response plan
  • Address network security
  • Invest in a risk management framework
  • Train staff to recognize cybersecurity red flags
  • Establish data backup protocols

Of course, vigilance isn’t enough. Cybercriminals fight to stay one step ahead of security, so there’s always the risk that senior living centers will fall victim to a new kind of attack. 

Insurance agents can help by advising clients on the best liability policies for their facilities. Even if the worst happens, they’ll have a safety net to protect patients, staff, and the company. Contact Huntersure to learn more.


Huntersure LLC is a full-service Managing General Agency that has provided insurance program administration for professional liability products to our partners across the United States since 2007. We specialize in providing insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our program features can cover small firms (grossing $2.5 million annually) to large corporations (grossing $25 million annually or more). We make doing business with us easy with our breadth and depth of knowledge of E&O insurance, our proprietary underwriting system that allows for responsive quoting, binding, and policy issuance, and tailored products to meet the needs of your insureds. Give us a call at (855) 585-6255 to learn more.

Posted in: Professional Liability Professional Liability Insurance