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Is your health care facility’s data safe?

Miles Franz  |  December 14, 2015

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When people go to the hospital for help, they’re already in a vulnerable position. They’ve become the victim of circumstance, and all they want is to get better. Sadly, there are malicious individuals out there who want to exploit these people by accessing their private health care information and using it for personal gain.

A new study conducted by IDC, which was reported on by the International Business Times, found that patient information is nowhere near safe from hackers. The report stated that one-third of all heath care client in the U.S. will have their records breached in 2016. Despite the horrific nature of stealing from someone with a serious medical condition, it seems like the hacking of health care records is on the rise.

Health care data storage at risk

Medical records are extremely valuable on the black market, and for good reason. These documents generally have a lot of private data that could be worth a lot to the wrong people. Health care documents generally have banking information on them, and sensitive medical conditions could very easily be used by a hacker to blackmail the patient.

“A single medical record is worth around $363.”

This is why it isn’t really surprising that the Ponemon Institute found that health care records cost the industry more than twice the average for all other sectors. A single medical record is worth around $363 per document, with the average of all industries being $154. The health care field simply has a lot of valuable personal information hidden within their data storage systems, and yet they may be woefully unprepared for a data breach event.

Medical field isn’t ready for hackers

Although those working within medicine are extremely knowledgeable about the human body, they aren’t IT experts. This isn’t their fault really, as knowing how to perform surgery is more important to their job than knowing how to construct a secure data management system. That being said, this lack of knowledge about IT is costing the medical profession a lot in terms of data breaches.

A separate study conducted by the Ponemon Institute found that the health care industry simply cannot handle the sophistication of modern cyberattacks. The report discovered that 78 percent of medical institutions had experienced a malware attack. While that number should be high enough on it’s own to scare health care professionals, the study really drove this point home by finding that only 40 percent of medical organizations feel cyberattacks are something to be worried about.

The fact that less than a majority of health care institutions think hacking attempts are worrisome shows how uninformed many in the medical industry are in terms of cybersecurity. While these professionals obviously need to focus on the physical health of their patients, the health care sector needs to start focusing on the cyber health of these people as well.

Patient document security is extremely important. Keeping your patients’ information safe is just as important as improving their health.

Proper data management and cybersecurity is a must

Those working within the medical field need to start putting an emphasis on cybersecurity within the workplace. Ignoring the problem, or simply staying uninformed about it, is the surest way to leave patient information open to attack. Of course, this doesn’t mean doctors need to drop the medical textbooks in favor of cybersecurity manuals. Rather, those within health care need to look outward for experts who can help them get a tighter hold on the private information of their patients.

Anyone within the health care industry worried about patient data should absolutely contact an ISG Technology security professional today. With services ranging from malware removal to intrusion detection and prevention services, ISG Technology can help your organization stay safe.

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Miles Franz

Vice President of Sales - East Region at ISG Technology
Miles brings IT management and leadership experience to ISG Technology, and currently leads the sales teams and initiatives across eight locations. He joined ISG in 2005 and co-led the expansion of ISG Technology into the Kansas City market - building ISG’s Kansas City presence from the ground up. Prior to joining ISG, he held various business development and sales management roles at TEKsystems. Miles holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an Information Technology emphasis from the University of Kansas. He currently resides in Leawood, KS with his wife and their three children.
About

Miles brings IT management and leadership experience to ISG Technology, and currently leads the sales teams and initiatives across eight locations. He joined ISG in 2005 and co-led the expansion of ISG Technology into the Kansas City market - building ISG’s Kansas City presence from the ground up. Prior to joining ISG, he held various business development and sales management roles at TEKsystems. Miles holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an Information Technology emphasis from the University of Kansas. He currently resides in Leawood, KS with his wife and their three children.

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