Healthcare Data: The Treasure Trove For Hackers

Healthcare Data: The Treasure Trove For Hackers

The medical industry is now seen as a new means for hackers to get critical and sensitive data through which they can steal money and other vital data that will be used for nefarious activities. The key reason for them to feel that they can profit from attacking hospital system is the data they have on patients.

How To Hackers Steal Data From Health Care Center Computer Systems? 

Hospital and various types of health care centers have a huge amount of data on their patients. Stealing even a hundred such patient files in a day translates into thousands of dollars of money. Imagine what could have been if a couple of hundred patient records were stolen. Wouldn’t that mean huge money for the hacker? Here is a look at how various data thefts that hackers can do:

  • Make use of patient identification cards to get their personal details, which will be ten used to make fake IDs. These will be show to drug stores and pharmacies to get medicine illegally. Even difficult to access drugs can be purchased this way.  Medicines can be purchased regularly this way, till the person is caught. Discounts can be availed and in case of a large purchase or expensive medication, the amount reduced is considerable. 
  • They find a patient’s insurance number and use it to create a fictitious patient account, which is then used to get money from insurance companies. All the medical records are falsely created but look real and show to the insurer to get money for a patient whose record does not really exist. A lot of claims from various fake accounts can bring in a lot of money to the hacker, using just fake patient accounts. 
  • They find patient medical prescriptions and use them to buy drugs from various pharmacies. Often they make use of paint discounts to avail what they want. The drugs obtained are then sold elsewhere at higher prices, through which enormous money is gained. The ale can go to places where there is a need for such purchase through foreign currency, which benefits the hacker enormously. 

Ways In Which Data Theft Can Be Prevented Or Avoided? 

In spite of the hideous implications of patient data theft and its subsequent benefits to none other than the hackers, still there are plenty of steps that can be taken to stop them from happening. Here is a look at the top ways by which such thefts can be avoided:

  • Install the latest anti-virus system in all system across the health care system.  It will be able to stop various types of known malware and virus attacks as they happen. 
  • Protect all patient files with appropriate passwords. The password set must be a strong one that can withstand any amount of hacker attack and it must be set for every file
  • Encrypting patient data is another step by which information contained in it cannot be accessed. File must be encrypted into using a strong code non-understandable form so that it cannot be deciphered
  • Eliminate any old software in the hospital computer systems as they are more prone to attacks than modern ones which come with various data protection features not seen in the old ones
  • Invest time and money in training employees to follow strict code of rules when using computer systems so that they know what procedures to follow to prevent cyber attacks and malware from creeping in and streaming data
  • Have all systems checked by trained cyber attack specialists so that you are not caught unaware by a problem. Usually viruses and malware that make global attacks come with prior warning. In such situations, consult such experts to find out what can be done to protect your system. 

It’s therefore mandatory that the health care should be safeguarded from the hands of the hackers and due care should be taken by the hospitals to do so. It’s a very important information and the dangers that it can cause by hackers are too scary and should be avoided at any cost. 

Taking into consideration the above-mentioned steps will help in doing so and it is the duty of all considered in the medical fraternity to help in whatever measures they can.

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