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Healthcare Organizations: A Top Target for Hackers This Year

By January 5, 2017 No Comments

Last year, healthcare organizations struggled to protect their networks and prevent hackers from accessing client healthcare information. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, millions of healthcare professionals and patients were affected by hack attacks in 2016. As you can see in the Department’s breach portal, a breach in one Los Angeles healthcare facility affected 749,017 people in December. That means every patient’s full name, address, and even credit card information was stolen – and it all occurred through a simple breach in the facility’s email.

To make matters worse, we can only expect more healthcare organizations to be targeted throughout 2017, as cyber-attacks become more focused and sophisticated. Medical device vulnerabilities are particularly among the nation’s top concerns for healthcare organizations. In fact, research indicates that the new wireless connection in medical devices may just be the key for hackers to access valuable medical information of hospital clients. With these new Internet-capable machines, healthcare organizations have subsequently adopted new technologies to protect the networks these medical devices use – but relying on technology as the sole security method could be a major miscalculation. According to Lance Hayden, chief privacy and security officer of ePatientFinder, it is possible for technology to be compromised on a non-technology level, so it’s important to really focus on every aspect of an organization’s security system.

David Finn, health information technology officer for Symantec, builds on Hayden’s statement and suggests, “organizations that address security with a holistic approach using sound systems, security engineering techniques, and security design principles will make their systems less vulnerable; reduce damage caused by disruptions, hazards and threats; and improve resilience against attacks so they can continue to support critical missions and business functions after being compromised.”

Without taking the proper security measures, it’s therefore clear that the outcome may be devastating for healthcare organizations and patients alike – but thinkIT is here to help. With a free security checkup, we can assess any risks of exposure and provide the solutions you need.