U.S. — Why hackers go after health providers

From the news item:

Q. Why would cybercriminals go after the health care industry?

A: It has a lot of information that could be valuable to criminals, and that makes it a juicy target.

First, health care companies often have a bunch of personal information that could be use for traditional financial fraud — things like your name, social security number and payment information. But they also have health insurance information, which can be sold for even more on online black markets because it can be used to commit medical fraud — things such as obtaining free medical care or purchasing expensive medical equipment — that often isn’t caught quite as quickly as credit card or bank account fraud.

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Q. Just how vulnerable is the health care sector to cyberattacks?

A: Things aren’t looking good.

According to cybersecurity firm TrendMicro, health care was the sector that was hit hardest by data breaches from 2010 through 2015. Not all of those breaches involved hacks — two-thirds were actually due to the loss or theft of things like laptops, smartphones, or thumb drives — but it still demonstrates a major problem with the way the industry approaches keeping data safe.

“It’s a big environment with a lot of different pieces — and not a lot of investment in cybersecurity,” said Johnson.

Part of the problem is hospitals and doctors’ offices often have to oversee a mishmash of different types of equipment running different types of software — and they can’t always apply standard security practices, like regular updates, without risking instability because it might break the connections between systems, according to Jay Radcliffe, a senior security consultant at cybersecurity company Rapid7.

Read the entire in-depth piece at the link:

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