23 Jan The Overall Drop in Hacking Is No Reason For Healthcare to Drop Its Guard
The overall rate of hacking of consumer health data went down in 2018 from a previous high in 2017, but that doesn’t mean that fewer individuals’ health information is at risk. As reported in Health IT News, while the overall number of individual breaches has lowered, many of the largest breaches of the year were what’s called “megabreaches,” i.e. they’re hacks of millions of users’ data all at once, as opposed to several hacks of small groups of users. But the number of breaches of over 100 million records at once continues to climb. So the overall concerns about protecting health data remain, as hacking is still the largest cause of health data and privacy leaks.
This doesn’t mean, however, that patient health data is at higher risk in larger systems. Anahi Santiago, chief information security officer at Christiana Care Health reported to Health IT News that larger institutions have small and mid-sized hospital beat when it comes to cyber security, with stronger protection protocols in place. The concern, though, is that hackers are managing to keep apace with newer security developments meant to thwart them. As data collection grows more sophisticated, the more consumer health data will be worth to potential hackers. In addition, healthcare security experts went as far as to say that healthcare data will be the hackers’ biggest target in the next five years. So healthcare organizations, be forewarned. As more data moves toward the electronic record, the more important it will be to work together with technology and cybersecurity experts to ensure that patients’ privacy is protected.