12th June, 2017
The drastic increase in hacking attacks against medical institutions reveals that the health care industry has become a prime target for cyber criminals. As most of the services and information is provided online, hackers have found a convenient way to gain access to the internal network and extract sensitive data that can be used for malicious purposes. This can have serious financial and reputational repercussions for the targeted institution.
Given below are some of the common cyber security risks faced by the health care industry:
Phishing attacks have become a common technique to extract confidential information through social engineering methods. Moreover, the high demand for patient’s medical records in the black market lures the hackers even more to carry out such attacks. To avoid being a victim, the hospital staff should be educated about the precautionary measures. They should be cautious while clicking on embedded links or downloading attachments received in emails from unknown senders. They should also not share any information without confirming that the email has been sent by an authorized personnel.
In order to further capitalize on the loopholes in a health care institution’s network security, hackers are using ransomware. It is a type of malware that locks down the files and data stored on the infected computer system, making them inaccessible for the authorized users. The malware then pops up a message on the computer screen, asking the victim to pay a certain amount of ransom to unlock the files. Hospitals must make sure that have a complete backup of the patient records so that hackers cannot gain anything out of a ransomware attack.
As health care institutions are constantly making the switch to cloud computing, there are a lot of variables concerning data security that need to be accounted for. Unrestricted file permissions and software vulnerabilities may provide a backdoor for the hackers to view or steal the files in the cloud. Ensure that you know exactly what information and assets have been uploaded to the cloud. Implement strict encryption policies for all the sensitive data. Determine the employees as well as computer systems that can have access to the information and to what extent.
We, at Centex Technologies, provide complete cyber security solutions to clients in Central Texas. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.