Healthcare Records vulnerable to Criminals

Just about every kind of healthcare related entity—hospitals, rehab centers, pharma companies, insurance carriers and more—have been and continue to be compromised by cyber criminals.

2PThough your doctor can boost your resistance to heart attack, the hospital he works at remains prone to hack attacks by crooks wanting access to all sorts of data and other sensitive information.

This isn’t just a leak of patients’ personal health information, but the institutions’ billing systems and intellectual property get in the hands of crooks.

Once the hackers are in, they’re in a position to launch more attacks on other networks and commit billions of dollars worth of fraudulent transactions.

Here are some bitter pills to swallow:

  • Compromised devices include radiology imaging software, Web cameras, firewalls and mail servers.
  • Quite a few compromises occur due to simple issues like failing to change default credentials on firewalls.
  • Tens of thousands of malicious events can occur within a healthcare IT environment during the time that intelligence is gathered.
  • Not only can cyber criminals get ahold of patient addresses, SSNs and medical condition data, but they can manipulate medical equipment.
  • Healthcare providers accounted for 72 percent of malicious traffic according to the SANS-Norse Healthcare Cyberthreat Report. In addition, healthcare business associates: 9.0 percent; health plans: 6.1 percent; pharmaceutical: 2.9 percent; healthcare clearinghouses: 0.5 percent; miscellaneous healthcare related entities: 8.5 percent.

This all means that patients are getting a big burden financially in that healthcare costs rise in response. For instance, the cost that was related to compromised medical insurance records and files in 2013 was $12 billion. This gets trickled down to patients.

Many healthcare related organizations cannot adequately protect sensitive data; the cyber attacks are like a relentless virus, overtaking its host.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to AllClearID. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.