In 2016, the healthcare industry witnessed major technological advancements in upgrading basic healthcare IT and electronic health record (EHR) system. However, these developments were not without certain shortcomings. Incorporation of cutting-edge IT solutions in healthcare management has left the industry susceptible to malicious cyber-attacks. In order to reduce the infuriation caused by mismanagement of paper records, healthcare organizations are shifting towards digital data record maintenance systems. While, various cloud-based or in-house systems are enabling caregivers to maintain patient data cohesively for future referral, they also create openings for the hacker to hack into medical systems. Theft of medical records has become easier after their digitalization, medical records that are lucrative and can be of great value.
Data theft has become a serious issue, hence, organizations such as US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) are vigorously probing the matter to understand the crisis levels and are urging EHR service providers to deploy better security systems. Moreover, the OIG found the privacy and security of digitalized information as one of the challenges for the healthcare industry. The expansion of IoT in mobile health technology has opened up several new ways to intrude and excess confidential medical data.
The healthcare Industry is a Major victim of the following malicious activities
Ransomware: It is one of the oldest types of spamming that exist, however, its growing notorious use in the healthcare sector has become a concern for the industry stakeholders.
Hacking: Currently, cybercriminals use various advanced tools to hack into patient records. For instance, 21st Century Oncology a Fort Myers-based oncology specialty clinic reported that over 2 Million patient records were breached by hackers. The organization was charged with numerous lawsuits due to the incident.
Sloppy internet use: Lack of knowledge regarding proper handling of online accounts can lead to accidental exposing of patient data on the internet.
The Internet of Things: Although, IoT has revolutionized the way of intro and inter-connective amongst device, it has also created scopes for cyber criminals to access data inventories using different channels.
Summary: Healthcare industry the latest victim of cyber malignancy