Healthcare Domain a Hotcake for Hackers
The healthcare industry also is known as the medical industry is a large industry that affects the lives of everyone in a country. Healthcare involves disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment of injuries, diseases and illness, etc. Practitioners in the healthcare industry specialize in nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, allied health, and other aspects. The healthcare industry is an industry that provides services and goods for treating patients through rehabilitation, prevention, palliative, and curative health care.
The healthcare industry is subdivided into various sectors. Each sector has talented teams of professionals and specialists to meet the healthcare needs of people under their care. The healthcare industry provides up to 10% of the GDP of most developed countries. It is a fast-growing industry that employs a large number of people.
Professionals must work together with people like community health workers and public health assistants in teams to provide services in nursing, dentistry, allied health, community health and other sectors. They all work together to provide population-based and personal-based treatment for patients.
Healthcare practitioners often advocate that ‘prevention is better than cure.’ This saying is also applicable to medical data.
Medical data is sensitive and the information stolen can have disastrous effects on those it was stolen from. Hackers use stolen healthcare information in various ways. Medical data hackers offer hacked health insurance logins, forgery of sensitive documents and stolen healthcare data.
There are four various kinds of cyber heists that relates to medical data.
- Hackers hack provider data and steal medical licenses and other administrative paperwork to forge the identity of a healthcare professional. This information could be stolen for as much as $500.
- Hackers steal login details from a medical insurance provider and sell these details to people who reset the credentials in the database of the insurance provider. The victim’s identity is then used to claim insurance. This restricts a hospital’s access to patient records and other important systems.
- Hackers could also forge drug labels, drug prescriptions and insurance cards to carry restricted drugs in and out of a country through the airport.
- Hackers can also hack sensitive personal health data of people to blackmail them, exhort them and for other nefarious purposes.
A survey of chief information security officers in the healthcare industry revealed that over 80% of healthcare organizations had witnessed an increase in cyberattacks within a one-year period. About half of the organizations surveyed revealed that they had faced cyberattacks focused on destroying information within that period.
Even though a lot of organizations had taken steps to improve their cybersecurity, a lot of chief information security officers rated their company’s cybersecurity strength a mere C grade. This shows that a lot of healthcare providers are yet to secure their medical documents and patient information as they should.
Medical trackers, IoT devices, and other electronic gadgets have made it easier for companies to accumulate a lot of data on patients. This voluminous data is being targeted by hackers. Also, a lot of these organizations have limited or poor cybersecurity systems which have made them a more viable target for hackers. A lot of healthcare organizations do not devote as much funds and attention as they should to cybersecurity.
When a healthcare provider becomes a victim of a hack, there isn’t much that patients in the system can do. Medical information is sensitive and often permanent. And data thefts are on the increase. There is a need for healthcare organizations to take cybersecurity very serious and do as much as they can to protect themselves from all kinds of attacks.
A large market exist for stolen medical data and healthcare organizations must do a lot to cut off the supply to that market. Healthcare organizations should invest in data backups and undergo intensive auditing of their security practices. This will prevent their systems from being subjected to attacks. Healthcare institutions must update their data protection policies as often as needed.
Security testing in the healthcare industry
Security testing services in the healthcare industry involves the following:
- Assessment of risk level before release of application: The level of risk of your application can be assessed before you release it. From this assessment, your team can diagnose and fix all software threats and vulnerabilities.
- Validation of security techniques: Security testing evaluates your security techniques and mechanisms to guarantee safety. Regardless of whether you use encryption algorithm or two-way authentication to protect application data, security testing is necessary.
- Validation of the data storage: Stored data must be well secured. Security testing checks your data storage techniques to ensure that they are safe. Security testing also analyzes your encryption technique, security solution and data management.
- Improvement of software quality: Security testing can improve the quality of your software by detecting bugs at initial stages. This will save you money and guarantee you a better product release.
- Protection of data transmission: Applications support the exchange of data over smartphones, the cloud and email. There must be proper data encryption and protection against unauthorized data access at every point during the exchange of data. Security testing ensures that the data is shared as intended and prying fingers can’t access it.
- Validation of identity and access management: Hackers will gain access to medical record and systems through security loopholes. Security testing will detect access points that are vulnerable so identity validation can be improved and attempts to breach patient privacy can be blocked.
- Testing the security of PHI: PHI or protected health information have a lot of potential risks and vulnerabilities. Strategic security testing is needed to reveal all vulnerabilities, decryption attempts and other attacks. PHI must be completely secured to meet HIPAA compliance.
- Building confidence and trust in your application: Security testing is necessary to attain HIPAA compliance. HIPAA compliance makes investors and users to trust in your application. Therefore, security testing builds trust and confidence in your application and hastens your business growth.
PFB Author Bio,
Author Name: Pradeep Parthiban
Author Bio: Pradeep is a Content Writer and Digital Marketing Specialist at Indium Software. He has a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He likes to discuss about software testing, big data and latest digital trends. Apart from work, he enjoys watching movies, listening to music and clicking pictures with his DSLR.