Hackers target health care as industry goes digital
With more health providers and insurers incorporating IT into clinical care, hackers are viewing the health care industry as their next target.
“Cybercriminals know that the health industry is moving into EHRs and there’s more data to steal,” said Ann Peterson, program director at the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, an organization that works to reduce medical fraud.
Electronic health records, or EHRs, are increasingly being used by hospitals and doctors’ offices to store information such as test results and treatment plans, along with data such as patient names, Social Security numbers and birth dates.
Health insurance companies also use EHRs and store other personal data, such as credit card details, making them attractive targets for hackers. This week, Anthem, one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., said sensitive information on possibly 80 million employees and customers had been exposed during a cyberattack. The information thieves made off with included patient names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and medical identification numbers.