Another company in the health care industry has fallen victim to cyberattack. Beacon Health Systems was recently infiltrated by an attack that exposed Beacon employees’ email inboxes, which potentially contained confidential patient data such as names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth.
The Ponemon Institute recently released several studies dealing with the prevalence of cyberattacks. Research published May 7 revealed that within the health care industry, the occurrence of cyberattacks has grown by 125 percent, and a startling 91 percent of organizations in this field have experienced at least one data breach. Another study, published May 27, found that the average cost of a data breach is $3.8 million, which represents an increase of 23 percent since 2013.
Beacon Health Systems isn’t the only health care organization to be targeted by cyberthreats in May. Earlier this month, insurance company CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield experienced a data breach that potentially affected the data of over 1.1 million customers.
One potential reason that hackers like to target these types of organizations is that patient data can be sold for a lot of money on the black market. Health care providers should take steps to assure their patients’ data remains private. Beacon Health Systems didn’t detect the threat until March 2015, but the first infiltration into an email inbox occurred in November 2013. The amount of time it takes for organizations to find cyberthreats can mean the difference in protecting patient data. Because managed SIEM services employ continuous monitoring of internal systems, this would allow organizations to more easily and quickly detect these threats, instead of allowing them to exist unhindered for longer than a year.
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