You’d be hard-pressed to find something that is of higher priority than your health and, subsequently, your healthcare. The information provided to your healthcare providers is just about as personal as it gets and it must be fiercely protected. The healthcare industry has seen a significant increase in cyberattacks and cybersecurity is becoming a huge part of the industry conversation. Why do cybercriminals target the healthcare industry and what do they want with your information? Read on to find out more:
1. Healthcare is the Perfect Target
Did you know that medical records are a hot ticket item on the black market? An electronic health record (EHR) goes for anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars versus the low price of $1 for a stolen social security number. WHOA! Why are medical records so valuable among criminals?
Because your medical records create more opportunities for crime. Cybercriminals get all the personal information they need for garden variety identity theft, while also gaining access to purchasing drugs, creating a fake ID, and opening up claims with your insurer.
Additionally, because healthcare organizations hold the valuable data of thousands of people, cybercriminals can possibly obtain a huge stolen data haul all in one concentrated cyberattack.
2. Insufficient Updates and Awareness
Let’s be honest. Technology often moves way faster than the rest of us and there are several industries that are trailing behind the trends in technology. The healthcare industry is notorious for underspending, when it comes to cybersecurity. The industry often places more of an emphasis on hiring better doctors or having more customer service on hand to help answer your coverage questions. This is a noble and very human pursuit, and we’re not discounting it. But, for many, this emphasis on the human aspects of healthcare means that the technology aspects get neglected. At Boon, we’re continually working to keep healthcare flexible and accessible … just not at the expense of dotting our “I”s and crossing our “T”s when it comes to IT (Information Technology).
3. Bigger Organization, Bigger Target
Healthcare is a giant industry. Not just in impact but in literal numbers. Hospitals and insurers and various other healthcare providers serve thousands of people and all those names and other personally identifiable information are stored in electronic data. The more people in the system, the more chances to steal and exploit that information. Thankfully, standards for the protection of that information are exceptionally high and there is training available on HIPAA compliance. At Boon, for example, every single one of our employees is rigorously trained in HIPAA protocol so that your information is protected at every level.
Another issue created by the sheer size of entities in the healthcare industry is that many operations require multiple shared networks. There are simply too many people and too much information that must be accommodated. Problems happen when, across these networks, there is no consistency in the security standards and processes. With so many devices moving between networks, all it takes is one weak spot and one more (unwanted) device sneaking into a system to create a major problem.
4. Good “Ole Fashioned” Ransomware and Scams
Remember those scam emails where some ousted foreign prince promises you riches beyond your wildest dreams if you will just fork over your bank information? Almost laughable to think about now, right? Well, cybercriminals have gotten smarter and online scams and cyberattacks are becoming more and more difficult to spot. In the healthcare industry, many employees (for all their HIPAA training) have not had much of an education on cybersecurity.
Sometimes, cybercriminals don’t even have to hope for a human error, they’ll go straight for the source. Ransomware goes directly into a healthcare organization’s IT system and prevents company access to valuable files and information. The cybercriminal holds the file hostage and demands a ransom, hence the name. In an industry like healthcare, where access to patient information can be urgent and a matter of life and death, these entities are more likely to pay out and this makes them more attractive targets.
5. Pitfalls of Bringing Your Own Device
The healthcare industry is all about streamlining the process and making healthcare more efficient and affordable. Great, so what’s the issue? There is an increasing trend in healthcare to allow employees to work off of their own personal devices. While this may seem like an appealing way to cut costs on equipment, the reality is that personal devices do not have the same level of security and are subject to all the risks that may come up while that employee is not at work (theft, viruses, you name it).
The Boon Advantage
Boon strives to keep your healthcare close to home. Because your health is important to us, when you’re under our roof, we’re taking all known precautions to keep your information safe. The Boon Group runs a tight operation at our Austin headquarters under the watchful eye of our in-house professional teams. Every single one of our employees has designated devices and systems with the highest standard of protections in place. The personalized experience isn’t limited to our members, it’s keeping our employees guarded too!