With the development of our Application Programming Interface (API), we offer companies in the veterinary industry the ability to integrate their solutions with Animana. Examples include the online appointment booking platform Vetstoria. Applications like these make daily work in a practice easier, faster and more fun.
Secure, approved partners
Integrating with Animana – and thus exchanging data – is not a process that we approach lightly. Becoming an approved partner is preceded by a formal process that includes certification to ensure that the integration is sound, that users’ privacy is protected, and that data is securely processed. Simply put, we take data security very seriously, and there is an extensive approval process to become an integration partner with Animana.
Beware of unofficial integrations
Unfortunately, some third-party companies try to circumvent the certification process by creating and presenting unauthorised workflows as legitimate Animana integrations. Because unofficial Animana integrations are released without knowledge or permission, there is a genuine risk that they will negatively impact your practice.
For example, sensitive data from your browser, such as your clients’ financial information or employees’ login details, can be obtained by a rogue extension. Or they may secretly instal malware on your device to record keystrokes, intending to steal passwords and data – often held to ransom.
It is important to remember that attackers are not only targeting large companies – almost 3 in 10 (28%) data breaches with confirmed data disclosure involve small businesses, according to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.
How unofficial integrations can affect your practice
If your practice experiences a cyber-attack or data breach, at the very least, it will be annoying and disruptive. Important (medical) information may be lost, operations will be delayed, and patients’ health will be put at risk. In addition, there will almost certainly be financial consequences. Depending on the extent of the cyber-attack or data breach, you may face downtime and recovery costs. Additionally, you may be required by law to disclose the breach, which may incur fines and cause reputational damage.
Prevention is better than cure
Like the medical aspect of your practice, preventive care also applies to your digital work environment. Animana does everything to provide you with a secure cloud solution. Nevertheless, you are also responsible for your own Animana account, practice systems and digital work environment. Below you will find five tips to consider when using integrations.
1. Only use official integrations
You can find official Animana integrations in our Integration Marketplace on our website. These integrations, services, and applications have gone through the official partner process. If you don’t see a partner listed or want to check for a rogue partner, consult our Animana help hub or our Customer Support team.
2. Data security only exists with official integrations
While Animana carefully evaluates and monitors the security frameworks of all official integrations, we have limited visibility into the security of unapproved integrations. As a result, there is no guarantee that the data collected, stored and transmitted by unofficial integrations are secure. This could result in lost, stolen, corrupted, or tampered with sensitive business data.
3. Lack of support with unofficial integrations
Animana prides itself on providing the highest level of customer service. Unfortunately, we cannot support or take responsibility for the consequences of using unauthorised Animana integrations. This includes problems that can significantly impact business performance, such as inaccurate data processing, missing payments and loss of revenue. Unauthorised Animana integrations include browser extensions or the misuse (by third parties) of Animana proprietary functionality such as CalDav or VoIP.
4. Increased risk of malware when using browser extensions
Browser extensions are often helpful and can be massive time-savers; however, others can be malicious. While most modern web browsers now have authentication systems to eliminate potential threats, malicious extensions do still exist on official repositories like the Chrome Web Store. Malicious browser extensions vary in functionality; some can redirect you to phishing sites, while others can inject advertisements into the browser or download additional malware into your system.
5. Increased privacy risk when using browser extensions
There are also significant privacy issues to consider; for example, browser extensions work by monitoring the browser’s content. A good extension will only process the specific information needed to perform its function in theory. Still, there is a risk – particularly with unofficial integrations – that additional data could be collected, sold to advertisers, and used for fraudulent purposes or stored in an insecure way.
If you’re concerned about the legitimacy of a specific integration or have questions, please feel free to contact our Animana Customer Support team.
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