October 15-16, 2018 | Boston, 2018 x2, MA

Healthcare cybersecurity is in a rut, and hackers keep swinging

Tied down by staffing and budget issues, while the industry is still debating the best way to fix healthcare’s security woes, hackers are only getting smarter and continuing to shell the industry in full force.

The number of breached patient records has declined from 100 million in 2015 to just 5 million in 2017, according to a recent Symantec report. But don’t take that at as good news: 10 percent more organizations reported a breach in 2017 than the previous year.

These results could be interpreted in a number of ways. First, possibly certain state actors, like China, have stayed away from healthcare data, said Axel Wirth, a healthcare solutions architect at Symantec. Findings may also suggest that larger organizations are becoming more secure, while smaller providers are still struggling.

But “it doesn’t matter how many records you hold hostage, it’s equally painful for the organization. It may explain why we see a lot of smaller breaches,” Wirth said.

So what does that mean for the healthcare sector? Hackers aren’t done with their attacks. In fact, the report found there’s been a 600 percent increase in attacks on IoT devices and an increasing target on mobile devices.

There’s also been a 200 percent increase in supply chain-based attacks in 2017, such as those used in the infamous Petya attack last June. And last year, cryptocurrency mining -- which leverages blockchain -- increased by a whopping 8,500 percent.

Wirth took these stats to Capitol Hill this month to shed light on this ongoing issue. Unfortunately, the situation is still dire.

Read more on Healthcare IT News

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