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Medical Offices Under Attack For Patient Records

By March 4, 2017May 25th, 2021Cybersecurity

The Darkweb has trends, just like the conventional web does. In years past, the hottest data for sale on the black market was credit card info, but that is now changing according to the latest Trend Micro survey. The new hot property? Medical records, and Trend’s survey indicates that North American hospitals are more exposed to digital threats than anywhere else on the planet.

Canada is the overall winner, with fully 53% of their hospitals exposed, with 36% of their US counterparts being exposed. The company found more than a thousand expired SSL certificates in the US alone, which is the digital equivalent of a large neon sign to a hacker.

As grim as those numbers look for the US and Canada, the picture doesn’t improve much in other parts of the world. For instance, nearly half of all NHS Trust in England suffered from a ransomware attack in the last twelve months, and even though the UK’s’ exposure is much lower than the US’s (less than 1%), they still suffered nearly a thousand data breaches last year, which speaks to the massive scope and scale of the problem.

Just how lucrative is the market for medical data on the Darkweb? As an example, a complete hospital database can sell for as much as half a million dollars.

What makes medical data so enticing for hackers is the width and breath of what it contains. The hackers can get dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, billing and banking information, insurance information and a plethora of other financial details.

Basically, anyone armed with the data from a medical database would be able to digitally reconstruct your life and steal your identity. Worse, many of these pieces of data are unique and can’t be changed or reset if stolen.

If you work with PHI, be warned. The hackers are coming, and they’re coming for whatever data you’ve got.

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.