The Reasons Why Hackers Can’t Keep Their Hands Off Healthcare Data

The Reasons Why Hackers Can’t Keep Their Hands Off Healthcare Data

When it comes to valuable data, hackers will go out of their way to try and steal it, placing businesses in dangerous situations. In particular, healthcare data is attractive to hackers, and considering how lucrative the prospect of healthcare data is, companies need to take extra precautions to protect it. But what is it about healthcare data that makes it so attractive, anyway? Let’s dig into the consequences of potential attacks on healthcare data.

It Sells for a Lot on the Black Market

You’d be shocked to see the value of data on the black market, particularly personal health information and medical records, insurance details, and prescription information. Hackers know that there is a high demand for this data, so they have no problem trying to take advantage of the market.

Personal Profiles Aid in Further Attacks

If a hacker can steal a personal profile from a healthcare provider, they gain access to all kinds of information, like medical history, genetic data, lifestyle choices, and more. This information gives hackers all they need to launch customized attacks against individuals based on their profiles.

Identity Theft is a Possibility

Identity theft and financial fraud can often be a direct result of healthcare attacks. Once hackers have stolen records, they can impersonate individuals or obtain other medical information and prescription medications, as well as commit insurance fraud. Victims suffer in a variety of ways, including financial loss, damaged credit, and inability to receive medical treatment.

Blackmail and Extortion Can Scare Victims Into Acting

With sensitive personal records such as healthcare data, individuals often find themselves on the receiving end of blackmail attempts or extortion. They might threaten to reveal conditions or other personal information regarding treatments. For public figures or others in sensitive professions, this can be damaging.

Medical Research and Progress Could Grind to a Halt

Medical research requires that data be accurate, and if hackers steal or alter information in healthcare records, medical research grinds to a halt. This puts any attempt at developing new treatments, understanding disease patterns, or improving public health in jeopardy. 

Hackers Take Advantage of Weaker Security Systems

Healthcare organizations often have weaker security measures in place, putting them at greater risk of being attacked. These organizations are often more focused on providing better patient care, meaning their investment priorities are elsewhere, leading to more potential for security vulnerabilities in the process.

There is So Much Data to Steal

Consider how many patients a hospital might see over the course of a year. Now consider that the hospital will retain those records for an extremely long time. This shocking amount of data makes hospitals and other healthcare providers targets that have a lot to lose as a result.

Of course, it’s not just healthcare data that’s at risk of theft, destruction, or worse—all data is vulnerable to this type of treatment if it’s not managed appropriately. Let Symmetric IT Group help you address this with our managed IT services. Learn more by calling us today at 813-749-0895.

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