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Healthcare Security Breaches of 2017

HealthWare Systems Blog

Healthcare Security Breaches of 2017

Posted on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Healthcare security breaches and cyber attacks continued to be a major problem in 2017.  Unfortunately, healthcare was one of the most breached industries this past year.

Healthcare security breaches put patient privacy and patient safety at risk.

Healthcare security breaches put patient privacy and patient safety at risk.

Healthcare IT News has gathered a list of the biggest healthcare security breaches and patient privacy errors of the year.  Here are some of the cybersecurity issues health facilities faced in 2017:

  1. Phishing emails that lead to employees providing unauthorized persons with login credentials that allow them access to patient information.

  2. Extortion threats and patient information held for ransom by criminal organizations.

  3. Employees stealing private health information.

  4. Physical theft of backup devices, like hard drives and laptops, that store patient information.

  5. Cyber attacks on the health information of children and minor patients.

  6. Cyber attacks that prevent authorized personnel from accessing their own files and important patient information.

  7. Healthcare security breaches that are not discovered until months or over a year later.

  8. Cyber attacks that span years of risk to patient privacy and patient safety.

  9. Security breaches that a facility may not even be aware of yet.

According to Identity Theft Resource Center, and as you can see from the examples above, some of the leading causes of healthcare security breaches are hacking (including phishing and ransomware/malware) and employee error/negligence.

Not only are security breaches a major risk to patient safety and patient privacy, but they’re also detrimental to your revenue cycle and reputation as a healthcare organization.  Patients value patient privacy and may leave a healthcare facility that cannot protect their sensitive information.  It is becoming increasingly important that healthcare facilities provide proper training to employees and implement cybersecurity solutions that will prevent healthcare security breaches and the great harm they cause healthcare organizations and their patients.


By Stephanie Salmich

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