How To Avoid A Medical Data Breach

What is a medical data breach?

A medical data breach can put the private information of billions at risk. Also an increasingly attractive sector for criminals to target. Doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers, keep records containing very valuable information such as addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers. Not to mention confidential health data. This makes it an all lucrative intelligence for hackers. Social Security numbers sell for approximately $1 on the dark web, while credit card information goes for around $110. Furthermore, medical records can be fetch upwards of $1,000.

We recently saw an alarming CBS News story that warned of the dangers of healthcare providers putting the personal information of patients at risk. In 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services investigated almost 400 reported cases of medical data breaches where confidential information was compromised. It only takes a few seconds for a skilled hacker to access this kind of data. Unfortunately, too many healthcare providers make it easy for them. A disturbing 2016 report from Security Scorecard ranks the healthcare sector 9th out of all industries in terms of overall security rating. That year, Arizona-based healthcare provider Banner Health disclosed a cyberattack which compromised the information of 3.62 million patients. Unusual activity was detected on Banner’s private servers, in which hackers accessed records, payment systems and data of patients.

Two other notable cases of security malpractice in healthcare occurred in 2015. The largest breach (to date) was disclosed by Anthem  78.8 million patient records had been stolen. In 2018, however, the largest data breach was caused by a hack on billing vendor AccuDoc Solutions which compromised patient data for a week.

Furthermore, a 2017 survey found that healthcare data breaches have affected 26% of the U.S. or more than one in every four Americans. The survey also found that half of the victims eventually suffered medical identity theft. As a result costing them an average of $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs. How can your healthcare business avoid putting confidential medical information at risk?

Here are 4 common-sense tips

  1.  Make sure your staff is familiar with HIPAA regulations surrounding patient privacy.
  2. Train your employees not to click on “phishing” e-mails, which are cyberattacks that allow hackers to access your system or install malware on your computers.
  3. Be cautious of where you and your staff access the internet for work-related activities. For example, never use the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks, the library, or the airport when working with patient records.
  4. If you have employees or contractors who work from home, make sure they follow established security protocols to keep private information safe. 

Avoid a medical Data Breach. Contact Kobargo Technology Partners to schedule a free consultation today!

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