Tags: Ponemon Institute | Healthcare | Cyber Attacks | Hackers

Ponemon Institute: Healthcare Industry Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

By    |   Tuesday, 18 March 2014 01:48 PM

Most healthcare organizations let their employees use their smartphones and tablets to connect to medical networks without installing virus or malware protection amid a 100 percent increase in cyber attacks since 2010, a new Ponemon Institute Patient Privacy and Data Security study finds.

Most (75 percent) of healthcare organizations responding to the Ponemon Institute survey see employee negligence as the biggest security risk, and more than half are not confident that employees' personal digital devices are secure.

That didn't stop 88 percent of the organizations from letting staff members use those electronic devices to connect to their networks.

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Only 23 percent of organizations surveyed require employees to install
anti-virus/anti-malware software on their mobile devices, and just 22 percent require them to scan devices for viruses and malware before connecting to their networks.

Employees' gadgets are just one of the security risks facing the healthcare industry, according to Ponemon. Other risks include use of public cloud services, cyber attackers, and the Affordable Care Act.

Many survey participants believe the healthcare law increases security and privacy risks, due to insecure exchanges of information between healthcare providers and the government, insecure databases, or insecure websites.

"The study also found that healthcare organizations continue to struggle to comply with increasing complex federal and state privacy and security regulations," according to Ponemon.

Lack of precautions with employees' personal devices is most disconcerting, writes cybersecurity expert Adam Levin in an article for the Huffington Post.

"I don't know about you, but that scares me to death. Because we live in a time when breaches have joined death and taxes as the third certainty in life, this is foolhardy at best."

Theft of personal health information can be even more damaging that stolen credit card information, says Levin, chairman and founder of Identity Theft 911. Cyber thieves can use that purloined data to access the healthcare system in your name, contaminating our medical records with their own.

Imagine going to a hospital and having your medical reports show the wrong blood type, medical history, and allergies.

Plus, since many insurance plans cap some types of care, an identity thief could drain away your coverage, leaving you in a lurch in an emergency. Identity thieves could buy your prescription drugs, and then sell them on the street, leaving you without your medication and with a suspicious doctor or pharmacist.

Editor's Note: Secret Wall Street Calendar Uses Strange ‘Crash Alert System,’ Gets 18.79% Annual Returns

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Most healthcare organizations let their employees use their smartphones and tablets to connect to medical networks without installing virus or malware protection amid a 100 percent increase in cyber attacks since 2010, a new Ponemon Institute Patient Privacy and Data Security study finds.
Ponemon Institute,Healthcare,Cyber Attacks,Hackers
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2014-48-18
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 01:48 PM
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