Health Care Industry is Being Targeted by Cyber threats

There was a time when health care was one such sector that was spared from malicious attack and security breaches. Gone are the days when it was mostly the retail and financial sectors that were hit by such nuisance. As noted by FBI, the reason healthcare sector has become a victim to this is its wealth of protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII). When you have got wealth, you will have intruders. The cyber exposure state of health care industry just gets even worse with the various challenges like bring your own device policies, older/ legacy systems, a high payout for protected health information sold on the black market and a transition from paper to electronic medical records. Utilizing managed security services of Dezine Geek at this juncture can prove to bring a secure taste in your recipe of IT infrastructure.

You shouldn’t be complacent thinking that you haven’t been compromised yet. It has become inescapable today. If you haven’t faced such attempts now, you eventually will. It’s better to buck up now because when the information is gone, it’s just gone. You can’t do much when your wealth is tactfully stolen. Do it before having to experience it firsthand.

PHI- The Most Prized Possession of Health Care Industry

According to IBM X-Force Interactive Security Incidents data, the first half of 2015 has seen 100,000,000 health records being compromised with 5 largest security breaches included in last 5 years. The question that instantly ticks is why health care industry? It is the protected health information (PHI).  This priced possession is the diamond of this industry that yields a lot of money when sold in the black market. The term PHI was coined by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to denote a patient’s health information and medical records. Another term often heard of in the realm of health care is electronic health record (EHR) which contains the PHI. Apart from the medical information, EHR retains social security numbers, employment and bank information and email addresses.

The aftermath of Compromised PHI is highly multifaceted. Do you think it is just the breached health care organization that has to pay the costs? It’s a whole lot of other things. It’s not just the organization but also its customers that face a lot of difficulties. When the customer is damaged in any way, automatically the reputation of the health care organization is put at stake. According to a study, no other sector is shaken up so much after its data is breached than the health and pharmaceutical companies in terms of their customers.

Attacks shaping the cyber threat scene

Let us show you the types of attacks that the health care industry is being constantly bombarded by putting so many and so much at risk.


This attacker is malware-less and is on the lookout for taking full advantage of vulnerability in the GNU Bash shell. It poses persistent and significant threat to this industry.

Sphear phishing

This is one of the most successful attack methods in which the victim is duped into either clicking on a link to a website or opening a malicious document. This is how a big enterprise like Sony’s security was compromised. Malicious documents are much more preferred by these hackers than the malicious link.

The trial and error method

The hacker utilizes automated and repetitive technique of trial and error in order to figure out the person’s username and password. Once figured out, they can access the administrator’s applications and accounts that hold all the data on web facing server or web application. As soon as they gain the entry, they plant the malware that lets them further into the network of targeted health care organization. Rest you can imagine for yourself!

Older and Nonsanctioned Applications

Is your hospital organization using the old version of internet explorer? Then beware, older version is vulnerable to attackers. They can use VBScript to run arbitrary code on a weak system. The truth is various health care company employees are using many applications that are not officially sanctioned by the organization making the task of keeping those systems secure harder. Not to mention, providing the attacker a congenial ground to conduct its attack.

Cyber security no more an option

The hackers are conducting their attack in a more sophisticated manner leaving your mountainous data records exposed. The first half of 2015 saw a 200% increase in health care data breach than the last year. Cyber security is crucial to lower not only the overall cost but also to minimize or eliminate adverse consequence of data breach. You will have to prepare yourself with the right weapons taking measures like encrypting all sensitive data in motion and rest, securely storing and managing all encryption keys and controlling access with authentication of users. These security measures along with many other can be injected into the IT infrastructure of your company with Dezine Geek’s managed security services that will not only help you avoid becoming a victim of this inescapable cyber threat but also efficiently prepares you for a breach. On the other hand, our Managed cloud security shields and protects your data present in the cloud whether private or public.

Health care organization stands much more insecure and vulnerable than other sectors because of the volume, velocity and sensitivity of data continuously flowing through their networks. This itself is seen as valuable wealth to cybercriminal who make every effort to steal the prized data. Attacker’s ability to harm in a way that yields immediate financial and physical consequence is enough to understand the NEED for health care organization to direct some investment into IT now. Make cyber security a priority not an option!