Recently, cyber attacks have made a prevalent mark on the healthcare community. They are spreading like wildfire and leaving hospitals and healthcare facilities completely vulnerable. It’s time for the healthcare industry to tame the flame before it’s too late.
Among all of the cyber attacks, ransomware attacks have become the most prevalent in the healthcare community. This particular type of hacking involves healthcare information being held for ransom so hackers can extort money in exchange for returning a victim’s systems.
MedStar Health, based in the Washington region, is one of the most recent healthcare systems to fall victim to a ransomware attack. According to The Washington Post, the $5 billion healthcare provider received a ransom note asking for 45 bitcoins (approximately $19,000) in return for their stolen data. The attack was so critical that MedStar Health even had to involve the FBI.
Ransomware attacks aren’t the only attacks threatening the healthcare community. Attackers are also stealing patient information stored in healthcare databases. This type of attack not only exposes hospital information, but it can also threaten patients’ vital records.
So why have hospitals become such easy victims for hackers? The answer lies in the fast approach that healthcare took to go digital. The industry went digital in such a hurry they didn’t take proper security measures when making the drastic change. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology states that in 2008 9.4 percent of hospitals used a basic electronic record system and in 2014 that number jumped drastically to 96.9 percent using certified electronic record systems.
With attacks happening left and right, thoughts arise about whether or not healthcare facilities are relying on the right people to protect their patient information. To avoid cyber attacks you have to be able to trust your document management provider – Are your data management partners ISO Certified? Are they HIPAA and HITECH compliant? What are the physical and technological precautions your business associates are taking to protect sensitive healthcare data? These are just a few of the questions you should be asking when vetting who to choose to manage your patients’ valuable data.
Security breaches can cost the healthcare industry upwards of $5 billion per year. This cost can be avoided by ensuring that you select vendors that are secure and reputable. Cyber attacks will continue to spread so make sure you’re healthcare facility isn’t the next target. For more information on how you can have secure healthcare document management, connect with a DataBank expert today.