Last year the FBI issued a Private Industry Notification, also known as PIN, meant to warn healthcare providers that defense and resilience in their industry were not up to the standards of other industries and “increased intrusions are likely”. That plus the growing sophistication of cyber-attackers has made the healthcare systems more vulnerable to hackers specifically seeking Americans’ personal health insurance data and medical information.
“The healthcare industry is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely,” the FBI said in the private notice distributed to healthcare providers.
Healthcare data is 20 times more valuable than credit card numbers because the data contains information which is used primarily to obtain prescriptions and quick access to bank accounts.
Insurance Journal notes that some criminals are combining stolen medical information with credit card data, making it easier to conduct identity theft. A package of stolen consumer data, known as “fullz” or “kitz” on underground exchanges, sells for $1,000 or more.
Even with the warning issued in 2014, Anthem Healthcare was breached in February of this year, exposing the data of as many as 80 million records of current and former customers. This serves as a real-time reminder of where the threat level is and why implementing a rock-solid, proven cyber-security initiative is critical.
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