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Health Care Employees Have Big Problems With Data Security

By April 25, 2017March 1st, 2023Cybersecurity

Over the past two years, the hackers of the world have begun to shift focus. Previously, their preferred targets had been big credit card companies, and all over the dark web, interested parties could find as many credit card numbers (including all relevant account information) as they were interested in purchasing.

Times and tastes change, however, and starting two years ago, a new focus was selected: health care providers, insurance companies and the like. Protected health information turned out to be, in many cases, more valuable than mere credit card data.

The market boomed, and to this day, health-related companies are disproportionately represented among hacking targets.

Worse, a recent study conducted by MediaPro indicates that health care professionals are woefully unprepared to deal with such attacks. Based on their findings, just 28 percent of healthcare professionals in the United States have the privacy training and security skills necessary to provide any meaningful assistance when it comes to preventing leaks or minimizing their impact.

The findings only get worse from there. Nearly one in five healthcare professionals (18 percent) were classed as being active risks whose lack of security awareness could actually increase the chances of a breach.

Another 54 percent were rated as “novices,” meaning they had only rudimentary knowledge and understanding in the key areas of acceptable uses of social media, cloud computing, understanding malware warning signs, phishing prevention and access controls.

Even more disheartening is the fact that 69 percent of health care organizations reported feeling more at risk than companies in other sectors. They know that the problem exists, but thus far, have struggled to do anything meaningful to begin to change the equation. This is in spite of the fact that almost two thirds (61 percent) of those companies have adopted the best practice security frameworks like NIST.

This is a problem with no easy fixes, and it’s going to get worse before it gets any better, because 2017 stands to be another record breaking year in terms of high profile security breaches. Buckle up, especially if you work in the industry. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.