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Healthcare breaches drop, but ransomware attacks rise
This article is part of the Pulse issue of March 2018, Vol. 6, No. 2
More than 5.6 million Americans had their patient records stolen or exposed in healthcare breaches in 2017. Remarkably, that huge number is a marked decrease from the year before, mostly due to fewer large-scale healthcare breaches -- though there were still some of those, too -- according to new research from Protenus, a health IT privacy and security firm. But in a notable development -- and deeply concerning to many in health IT -- ransomware and malware strikes on healthcare organizations intensified last year, doubling to 64 incidents reported to federal officials, compared with 2016. The biggest healthcare breach reported in 2017 was at Med Center Health in Kentucky, where a former employee gained access to the billing information of nearly 700,000 patients in a series of hacking exploits, as reported by Med Center parent Commonwealth Health Corp. to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Indeed, the so-called insider threat -- when employees accidentally or maliciously gain inappropriate access to ...
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Features in this issue
More hacker threats, including via connected medical devices, are coming to healthcare organizations, but health IT professionals can look to AI and blockchain for possible help.
Patient data breaches dropped in 2017, mainly due to fewer large-scale breaches, but ransomware strikes intensified and insiders kept hacking.
Medical facilities sometimes believe security is equivalent to compliance with HIPAA -- but not so fast. Organizations must consider other aspects when guarding patient data.
Columns in this issue
Health IT and hospital security professionals must try to stay ahead of cyberattacks against electronic patient records. But now hackers are prepping the next generation.
Worry about health IT cybersecurity has shifted from hacker-triggered health data breaches to ransomware and malware exploits that shut down hospitals and threaten patient safety.
Hospital CIOs who want to ensure that their environments are protected should be sure to implement multifactor authentication and AI-based monitoring to prevent data breaches.