Cyber-criminals are always on the lookout for ways to monetize illegal activity. The unlawful use of customer and business information is one way; however, medical data offers a more lucrative opportunity. A breach in your system, allowing hackers to access your data, is a devastating prospect. Here are some items to watch for, in relation to medical patient information and the necessity to guard your data.
Holding You Ransom
One of the most prolific and used avenues of attacks, in most recent days, is Ransomware. The devastating effect on any business, organization or medical facility should never be underestimated. You should always take the time plan for the worse case scenario, ensuring that safeguards are in place to protect you and your data.
Simple questions to ask:
- Where does your data reside?
- Is it secure?
- Do you have safeguards in place to protect your patient data in case of a ransomware attack?
The common strategy by hackers is to encrypt data, forcing the affected individual or company to pay a hefty price to access key information. Ransomware could even lock entire systems and networks, rendering them inaccessible. Can you trust the individual or organization holding you ransom? Criminals often request payment, using untraceable means, by a fixed date. Failure to comply with demands often forces you to lose everything. The question remains, how important is your medical data to you and the care of your patients. Do you have the right systems in place to protect you?
What about Identity Theft
Identity theft, also referred to as identity fraud, is the crime of obtaining the personal private details of an individual. What makes health information so prized is the sensitive nature of the information. With personal medical information, an individual could sell information to others with the intent of committing insurance or banking fraud, or far worse.
Recent breaches, in the United States, Canada and globally have underscored the need to safeguard the personal information of patients.
Phishing for Loopholes
There are a few types of phishing attacks in any organization. Often social engineering, existing loopholes in the process or simply lack of care for network infrastructure cause serious breaches in system defenses. Take the time to educate staff and all stakeholders. Often phishing scammers are looking for passwords, financial information or money. Criminals prey on urgency, fear and complacency.
Criminals may attempt to mimic or clone a legitimate individual in your office. Alternatively, deceptive communication or emails sent to possibly obtain key information. In addition to these methods, phishing attacks can also target key individuals in an organization or company. In order to safeguard against the spread of malware, viruses, and other possible cyber-crimes involving phishing use education. Teach your staff and make sure that everyone is aware is vigilant.