Malware and cyber-attacks are on the rise in nearly every industry, but researchers from Websense, a cybersecurity programming and research firm, report that hospitals above all other industry sectors are facing the most rampant increase in cybersecurity breaches and attacks. According to recent data, the rate at which hackers have been targeting and implementing successful attacks on hospitals has become unparalleled. Research indicates that attacks on the healthcare industry have increased 600 percent over the last ten months.
One such attack on the health care industry occurred in August and has been deemed one of the largest breaches to hit the industry yet. The attack was on Community Health Systems, a hospital management operation which operates 206 hospitals across 29 states, specifically in rural communities. They self-reportedly suffered a data breach which could compromise the personal information of some 4.5 million patients. In their regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Community Health Systems claimed that cyber-attacks had transpired during April and June of this year. Upon further investigation, officials have indicated that they believe these and many other cyber-attacks have been linked to a group of militant hackers operating out of China. Chinese authorities deny the allegations.
According to the MIT Technology Review, hackers are likely setting their sights on medical records from hospitals because security firewalls are easy to breach and the payoff can be extremely lucrative. Cyber-attacks often target systems that store large amounts of valuable personal information, such as medical records which can have everything from personal identity information to financial data. Websense has indicated that the Heartbleed bug, which exposed a serious vulnerability of half of a million web servers to last spring, could be a major factor in many of the breaches. The firm warns that a significant amount of patient records are still vulnerable because many hospitals have yet to implement the Heartbleed patch or new encryption tactics.
No matter where you are in the healthcare delivery system, your patient and private data is at risk. With the likelihood of security breach increasing every day it is important that Connecticut healthcare providers take the proper precautions to bot prevent and respond to cyber-attacks. At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management, we specialize in problem solving and finding solutions to the challenges and risks our clients face. We offer a complete portfolio of business insurance products, from malpractice to workers compensation coverage, designed specifically to meet the needs of the Connecticut healthcare industry. To learn more about our CT hospital insurance programs, give us a call today at (877) 602-2305.