Tech Attacks Growing in the Healthcare Community

When was your last physical? Chances are that you had some blood work done for routine checks like cholesterol, AC1, CBC, and the lab list could go on and on. If your testing was handled by Quest Diagnostics, then you may have been one of the millions of people who had their information compromised. 

Quest Diagnostics has acknowledged that a billings collections vendor it works with, American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), suffered a data breach on its web payment system that may have exposed information of nearly 12 million of Quest’s patients' information. The information that was vulnerable included credit card numbers, bank account information, medical information, and personal details such as Social Security numbers. 

Sadly, this type of event is not new to the healthcare industry. More and more data breaches are targeting the medical and dental fields, where hackers can access critical credit card information, Social Security numbers, and personal identifying information in order to create new identifications. 

Data from Modern Healthcare show a steady increase in healthcare breaches through June 2019. For example, in June, Inform Diagnostics, Inc., a healthcare provider, saw 173,617 people affected in a hacking/IT Incident where network servers were targeted. Another recent example is the Dominion Dental Services, Inc., Dominion National Insurance Company, and Dominion Dental Services USA, Inc., a health plan. 2,964,778 people were affected in a hacking/IT Incident. Again network servers were targeted.

The HIPAA Journal reports that there has been a 70% increase in healthcare data breaches between 2010 and 2017, according to a study conducted by two physicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Quantitative Health. Those breaches have resulted in the loss, theft, exposure, or impermissible disclosure of 176.4 million healthcare records, 75% of which were exposed or stolen as a result of hacking or IT incidents.

According to Dark Reading online, three of the main reasons why the healthcare industry is an easy target for hackers include the vast amount of valuable data, the lack of investment in security and employee training, and the huge shift toward storing and accessing data on the cloud. “Having shifted workloads to the cloud, healthcare organizations have highly connected systems that run the risk of being deeply affected even if the attack takes place on smaller, partial systems. In other words, a cyberattack in one place could bring down the entire system.

Are you in the healthcare industry and looking to beef up not only your compliance but also your security? Call Spectra Networks at 978-219-9752 or visit our website