Your medical information is worth 10-20 times more than your credit card number on the black market, according to a 2014 report by Reuters.
Repeat that, please?
Yes. Criminal attacks against healthcare providers have more than doubled in the past five years, with the average data breach costing a hospital $2.1 million, Bloomberg reports.
Cyber attacks on the rise in healthcare
“The healthcare industry is being hunted and hacked by the elite financial criminal syndicates that had been targeting large financial institutions until they realized healthcare databases are more valuable,” said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro Inc.
As a society, we’re much more adept at keeping our financial data safe and secure. But as large healthcare insurers and hospitals are discovering, switching to electronic medical records has exposed outdated security systems and practices.
The FBI warned healthcare providers to guard against cyber attacks after one of the largest U.S. hospital operators, Community Health Systems Inc, said Chinese hackers had broken into its computer network and stolen the personal information of 4.5 million patients.
How scammers use your medical data
Thieves can use names, birth dates, policy numbers, diagnosis codes and billing information to open lines of credit, take out loans, buy medical equipment or drugs to resell, or bill fraudulently to Medicare or other insurers.
It’s medical identity theft, which can lead to years of headaches. Since healthcare information isn’t regularly accessed, it can be harder to catch up to criminal activity.
Utilize cybersecurity technology to combat cyber attacks
Focusing on mobile cybersecurity for individuals and businesses, Cyber Solutions Technologies (formerly known as PerSysTek) offers patented cybersecurity software authentication (3-factor) products and methods. It enables employees to safely carry their own files and personal medical, financial, legal, identity and education records on their devices while traveling.
This immediately available technology can help secure a digital footprint while accessing mobile devices in public Wi-Fi spots, while traveling and on unfamiliar networks.