Why you should care about health care hackingNews added by Benefits Pro on March 28, 2016

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Jack Craver

Health care organizations are prime targets for hackers, and events in the past year have shown the grave risk that hospitals and insurance companies face by not investing heavily in security measures.

According to a report from PBS, more than 113 million medical records were compromised last year, suggesting an enormous proportion of us have had sensitive information about our health exposed to hackers.

The comparatively low level of successful cyberattacks this year is good news... sort of. But 3.5 million records have nevertheless already been compromised, and the year is not half over.

Last month, a hospital in Hollywood, California paid a $17,000 ransom to hackers that infiltrated its records system, an unprecedented surrender to a criminal enterprise that the hospital said it believed was necessary to prevent what the hackers were threatening to do with the sensitive data they may have accessed.

While Hollywood Presbyterian promised that no information appeared to have been compromised as a result, the event still shook patients and employees who wondered how safe their information would remain in the future.

Those who have their health care records stolen are in much worse shape than those whose credit card numbers are swiped, experts tell PBS.

“With credit cards, the money is insured. If the bank is FDIC-backed, most people who have their credit card numbers stolen won’t actually lose the money. The bank makes up the difference,” James Scott, co-founder and senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, said. “But with electronic health records, the reason that hospitals and insurance companies are such a big target, first, is because of the payoff.”

Pretty scare stuff, huh? But in the midst of other political concerns about terrorism, the economy, and Donald Trump’s newfound distaste for Oreo’s, health care hacking has been almost entirely neglected by White House aspirants in recent months. The only Democratic candidate who mentioned “cyber warfare” in the race so far was barely an aspirant: Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb.

Originally posted on BenefitsPro.com
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