medical data being misused by hackers to make money

Hackers making money by exploiting medical data

From forging patient and doctor identities to creating fake prescriptions and drug labels, hackers are exploiting medical data for illegal gains

It is often said Health is Wealth. Cyber criminals have taken it seriously and are exploiting the medical data of millions of patients, doctors, and health insurance companies to make easy money.

According to a report by Carbon Black, hackers often steal doctors’ details to forge doctor identities and/or sell these details on the dark web. That’s not all, cyber criminals also steal patient data for extortion and other types of crimes.

Protected health information as well as health insurance company login information is particularly useful to hackers as it provides them with an easy method to make financial gains. The stolen health insurance login details are used to forge the credentials in the database to claim the identity of the victim and then raise an insurance claim.

More sinister cyber criminals can create fake health insurance cards, prescriptions, and even drug labels to facilitate the carriage of strictly-prescription drugs illegally out of the airports.

The report includes a survey of the Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of the healthcare industry, which reveals that 83% of the respondents had seen a rise in cyber attacks over the last year. Almost half the respondents (45%) admitted having been victims of attacks that aimed to destroy information. Unfortunately, healthcare companies are woefully lacking in their defense as 33% of the respondents gave a thumbs down (Grade C) to overall cyber security strength.

Lack of adequate cyber defense will get further aggravated with an increased adoption of IoT-enabled medical devices as it will further increase the attack surface for cyber criminals. It is, therefore, about time that the healthcare industry takes note of the threats staring in the face and make efforts to fight them.

The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant

She can be reached on LinkedIn.

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