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Health Care Security in the Age of Ransomware

Posted by Sean McCabe on October 30, 2017 at 4:08 PM

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Since the start of 2016, hackers have increased ransomware attacks against health care systems. Cyber-security experts believe that the number one worry the health care industry has is its reliance on technology and the wealth of data they have stored. Why are they being targeted specifically? It’s quite simple. Lots of data to be had. This makes the medical industry increasingly likely to be a target of cyber-crime.

If a common reason why hackers do what they do is to steal personal information for financial gain, then striking the health-care sector is like hitting the mother lode. The wealth of information health care providers store (family history, medical history, financial information, etc.) means that there is a “street value” to how much a citizen’s private info is worth. Individual medical records may not sound like something worth stealing, but if they include sensitive information, crooks could snatch them up too. Basically, anything on your electronic health records can be compromised.

What health care organizations need to do is to stay in communication with one another. Even if a large hospital can secure its data, it’s still vulnerable when it shares connections with smaller organizations that have fewer resources for cyber-security. That’s why it’s vital to focus on cyber-crime prevention and solutions. Education and awareness go hand-in-hand in this situation. Having advanced training of electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) in the healthcare industry is a must nowadays for doctors, physicians, assistants, nurses and any other medical professionals.

Medical professionals have a lot to deal with day-in, day-out. Besides the health of their patients, they now have to worry about their entire system going down. This is more than an inconvenience, since this can end up harming patients. Not to mention, the bad press that comes with being a major medical insurance company or a hospital that doesn’t have its act together.

Topics: ransomware

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