The healthcare sector will continue to be the focal point for hackers in 2017 as medical identity theft remains lucrative and easy, Experian Data Breach Resolution predicts in a new report.
Personal medical information remains one of the most valuable types of data for attackers to steal, and criminals will continue to find a market for reselling this type of information, according to Experian.
More than 100 million healthcare records were compromised in 2016, making them a hacker’s top target, according to IBM.
Experian expects that mega breaches will move on from focusing on healthcare insurers to distributed hospital networks, which might have more security challenges compared to centralized organizations.
Ransomware attacks may also move from just locking systems to outright stealing information to either sell or leverage for identity theft, according to the report.
According to the recent Office of Civil Rights (OCR) guidance, depending on the facts, ransomware attacks may be classified as breaches and require notification under the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule.
“One of the biggest current threats to health information privacy is the serious compromise of the integrity and availability of data caused by malicious cyberattacks on electronic health information systems, such as through ransomware,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights.
Experian’s takeaway: “Healthcare organizations of all sizes and types need to ensure they have proper, up to date security measures in place, including contingency planning for how to respond to a ransomware attack and adequate employee training about the importance of security.”
Read Experian’s other four data breach trends here.
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