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January 2017, Vol. 5, No. 1

Why healthcare ransomware attacks are a growing threat to health IT

Unfortunately, the trend in cybercriminal activity will continue to worsen in 2017 as experts anticipate a rise in healthcare ransomware attacks. So why is healthcare singled out more than any other industry when it comes to these types of attacks? In the last decade, healthcare has undergone a significant transformation. An increase in EHR adoption because of the Affordable Care Act has driven many hospitals to invest in infrastructure and systems to support the growing need for digital patient charts. Demands for connectivity and access to data from many different devices, as well as the popularity of mobile devices used by clinicians and staff, have also required IT to deploy security systems that manage and control the different endpoints with access to medical information. However, the more data generated by hospitals, the more risks they face. Under HIPAA rules, healthcare organizations must protect patient-related data from unauthorized users. The risk of data breaches resulting in financial and legal penalties puts ...

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