Cyberattacks are nothing new. They’ve been around as long as the internet. However, more recently they have become much more powerful, dangerous and widespread. In 2007 the parent company of Marshall’s and TJ Maxx was hacked and lost the credit and debit card information for over 45 million customers. Of course more recently major companies like Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase and more have seen major data breaches, but what could pose a much bigger threat is the potential for major medical and healthcare cyberattacks.
In 2013 Anthem had a breach that impacted the confidential health information of over 78 million patients. Similar, yet smaller, attacks also happened at Premera Blue Cross and UCLA Health, each impacting millions of patients. Healthcare focused businesses like insurance companies, medical practices and hospitals need to be aware of the immense threat of data breaches and other cybercrimes.
There are several reasons while healthcare related cybercrimes have happened on such a large scale and face the greatest potential of continuing.
- Value: Insurance fraud and medical identity theft offer tremendous value for hackers. In fact, it is also possible for cyber criminals to access and control medical devices through a hospital’s network.
- Anonymity: Between code names and anagrams these criminals can operate with complete anonymity.
- Cost: Creating a massive data breach or compromising sensitive information is not an expensive endeavor. Even if a large scale attack does require more resources, often times these cyber criminals can find sanctuary and support in wealthy nations that can fund the attack.
- Lack of Cooperation: These same nations and entities that sponsor or allow hackers to perform these attacks are typically less than cooperative when it comes to investigations from the United States or extradition.
These large scale data and network attacks may seem like a world away compared to your medical practice or business, but the truth is it can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. Data and network protection is vital to any line of business in any industry, but there are overarching legal and ethical parameters when it comes to the medical field. Federal mandates like HIPAA and other patient security guidelines must be followed.
When it comes to protecting your patients, customers and your business, having a dedicated technology partner is essential in today’s threatening world. AtlasOne Technologies offers the latest in data backup and storage as well as network security and monitoring. Check out AtlasOne's managed IT services for more information.