Healthcare IoT Is Next – But How Safe Are Patients’ Medical Records?

April 10, 2017 Posted in Privacy News by No Comments

Last year witnessed the highest reported cases of cyber-attacks on health care services. High profile attacks like the ten day down time in Kansas Heart Hospital to Presbyterian Medical Center paying a ransom of $17,000, is an illustration of safety standards of health care information.

Health care internet of things (IoT) is poised for $117 billion in the next three years. It will not be long before these systems start to become vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Ruthless incidents of ransomware on medical data will soon become a reality.

What Happens To Stolen Medical Data?

A news portal reported that 689,621 records were stolen and sold at a deep web market place notorious for peddling stolen information and software exploits of zero day. All the information stolen by a miscreant who goes by the name darkoverlord (a name which sounds more than moronic sinister), contained the names and insurance records of all associated patients. Darkoverlord claimed that this information was worth over $100,000 in medical records of 9.3 million patients because apart from home address and telephone numbers, it also contained the social security numbers of all the registered patients.

Medical data stolen by Darkoverlord, is one of the many incidents which plagued cyber-security in the last year. It comes as no surprise that health care is becoming the primary target for ransomware, spar phishing attacks and information theft because these serve as a repository of information which when stolen are hard to replace. Most crimes in health care industry go unnoticed for the longest period. Health care industry is identified as a gold mine for personal identifiable information (PII) and any associated financial records are monetized and sold to the highest bidder in the dark market places.

There are incidents reported where the hacker used the information contained on another patients name to apply for a loan.

What Does Such A Breach Mean For A Health Care? 

When the news of data leak from a health care reaches the public, not only does the facility lose its credibility, it also loses revenue resultant of forensics, mitigation and investigation into the breach. Also, health care providers can be tried in court for breach of information.

The Solution Is Simple

A simple solution to evade even the slightest possibility of security breach is by implanting a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Stay safe with a VPN. This is a highly-effective and simple solution. All intruders are kept out of the main network and the data becomes inaccessible. When the data is hidden behind a fortress, chances of breach are highly reduced.

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