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Fighting Healthcare Cyber Crime in 2016

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Cyber attacks on healthcare organizations are growing faster than any other industry, and experts predict the trend will continue. In April 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported nearly 1,000 large data breaches between 2010 and 2013 — with 29 million individual records affected. These high statistics are especially worrisome when you consider the high cost that each breach has on patient privacy and provider revenue.

Why is healthcare a target for hackers?

The Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data AdobeStock_94025705-329887-edited.jpegreveals that attacks on the healthcare industry have increased 125% compared to 2010 attack levels, bringing the number of impacted individuals up into the tens of millions. What’s the attraction? The nature of the data itself.

Medical data gives hackers valuable insight into a person's or group’s identity and financial position. As incidences of criminal attacks and data breaches increase, so do the costs of repairing the damage. It is estimated that data breaches could cost the healthcare industry as much as $6 billion in the upcoming year.

3 Cybersecurity Trends Driving the Direction of Healthcare Data Security in 2016 and Beyond

Cybersecurity experts are looking at the new challenges the healthcare industry will face as it strives to protect patient and financial data.

  1. Mobile Security. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly used to store large amounts of personal information. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that 50% of healthcare data breaches can be traced to lost or stolen devices; or human error related to the use of mobile technology. In 2016, expect to see a stronger focus on the security of mobile devices and the apps consumers use on them.
  2. Data Encryption. Data encryption is an important part of data security, and 2016 is likely to usher in a wave more stringent regulations imposed by government agencies. New regulations will require healthcare organizations to use alternative security methods to protect proprietary data and patient information. Now is the time to prepare.
  3. Data Destruction. When attacks are designed to not only steal but also destroy data, the results can be catastrophic. Data destruction is a growing trend stemming from the emergence of ransomware — the practice of holding data for ransom and threatening its destruction if ransom isn’t met. Mitigating the risks of ransomware will be a healthcare data security focus in 2016.

As attackers continue to become more stealthy and aggressive, healthcare providers need to become smarter about cyber protection. To stay ahead of potential attackers, healthcare organizations need to develop a deep understanding of the factors that put their organization at risk, and implement strong cybersecurity strategies to help them implement security controls that will protect data from theft.

DynTek Services, Inc. delivers exceptional, cost-effective professional IT consulting services, end-to-end IT solutions, and managed IT services to optimize healthcare organization's approach to cybersecurity. By aligning technology solutions to business or security challenges, DynTek can help healthcare organizations stay proactive in their efforts to protect proprietary and patient information.