Patients’ Medical Records the Next Big Threat from Data Breaches
ST. CLOUD - Hackers have been attacking retailers for years, and now experts say they may be coming after your medical records next. A new study says Americans' private medical information is under threat.
Matt Riley is the Vice President of Operations at Netgain, an information technology company in St. Cloud that specializes in securing medical records. He says hackers are capitalizing on the confusion surrounding the health care law, "they'll send out a broad based email to people claiming that their health insurance is now invalid under the U.S. tax code, or there's some threat to their health care. Calling on their fear and uncertainty about the health care law. And so of course people click on whatever attachment comes with that and then the threat is inside the clinic or the hospital."
Riley says there's also the growing problem of the use of mobile devices in the medical industry, "within the healthcare community laptops, smartphones, and tablets are now part of moving healthcare information around the clinic or hospital. Those devices need to be encrypted. Where there are gaps in that security there are hackers and attackers out there ready to take advantage."
Hospitals do face federal penalties if they have a data breach.
Once the thieves gain access to a patient's name, address, illness, and Social Security number they have everything they need to commit insurance fraud.