Increased Healthcare Data Attacks

In 2017, attackers heavily targeted healthcare data.  While the number of records stolen decreased overall, the number of incidents increased dramatically.  There were 270 reported healthcare breaches (see current records here).  Compare this to 133 healthcare data breaches for all of 2016, and the incident rate has doubled.

Why Target Healthcare Data?

Hackers are looking for personal information to sell.  A name and social security number can sell for anywhere from $5-15.  In comparison, a medical record can sell for $60-100.  Why the price difference?  Credit card theft results in a card being cancelled quickly.  So much more can be done with a medical record.

Medical records contained in healthcare data usually include name, birthdate, social security number, insurance policy number, etc.  This additional information can be used to create fake identities.  These fake identities can allow the user to purchase medical drugs or equipment.  Fake insurance claims can be made, fake tax returns filed, and more.  This kind of theft is much harder to track which makes healthcare data usable for a longer period of time.  Consequently, hackers value this type of data much more.

“Hacking/IT Incident” Biggest Cause

The biggest majority of 2017’s 270 incidents were classified as a “Hacking/IT Incident”.  This category relates to the fact that many healthcare organizations aren’t securing their networks properly.  Old software systems are used often because of the difficulty and downtime involved in upgrading.  Even when the proper equipment is used, it’s often not monitored by an IT professional.  These factors make healthcare providers prime targets for attacks.

Secure Your IT Network

If you store healthcare data, you must secure it.  That requires investing in your IT infrastructure.  It has to be a priority.  Your network is as essential as the medical equipment you use on a daily basis.  Having the right hardware, software, and IT support can help you prevent data breaches before they start.

If you’re looking for an IT company that provides managed IT services, add Pit Crew IT Services to your list of options.  An independent third party has certified our services as HIPAA compliant.  Our certified Healthcare IT Technicians stand ready to help you.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

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