A big-data revolution is under way in health care. Start with the vastly increased supply of information. Although the health-care industry has lagged behind sectors like retail and banking in the use of big data—partly because of concerns about patient confidentiality—it could soon catch up. First movers in the data sphere are already achieving positive results, which is prompting other stakeholders to take action, lest they be left behind. These developments are encouraging, but they also raise an important question: is the health-care industry prepared to capture big data’s full potential, or are there roadblocks that will hamper its use?
Digital access, flexibility and sharing of data leads to better health outcomes and reduced health system costs. Australian governments are currently making significant investments developing e-health platforms to achieve these benefits.
The healthcare industry face many external and internal digital threats that can corrupt hardware and compromise data. Your private data and intellectual property could be used in e-crimes or fraud.
The healthcare industry is such a big target for cyber-criminals, to understand why you have to understand the value of a stolen medical record. Personal banking information is still valuable to the average cyber thief, but it doesn’t have nearly as high of a payout as that of a medical record. Reuters placed a value on stolen medical information that is 10 times more than that of credit card data.
Medical records sell at a high price because they contain personal data such as names, addresses, banking information, birth dates, billing information, among other information. This information is used by cyber-criminals to create fake IDs that can be used to buy drugs that can be resold later, or to file false insurance claims using patient data.
- Online security is vital to protect your virtual assets (electronic data) and IT systems.
- Installing an antivirus product is an important layer of protection. By choosing multi-scanning, organizations reduce the risk that that malware will enter their network.
- IT data and systems are at risk of hacking, malware, viruses, spam and online scams that may corrupt your hardware or allow criminals to steal private data.
- Proper host checking and monitoring of endpoint security status is imperative as more medical and health care workers adopt BYOD practices.
- A phishing attack is believed to be the cause of the recent Anthem breach, where stolen employee credentials were used to gain access to a secure network. In order to avoid this type of attack, the healthcare industry must invest in the proper email security software.
Industry-wide spending on cyber security remains low, despite the fact that healthcare is the largest target for cyber-criminals. If organizations in the healthcare sector want to reduce their risk of cyber-attack, they have to re-evaluate their views on security.
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