The Next Health Crisis – Hacking?

With the implementation of electronic health records, both for compliance with the Affordable Care Act and for general convenience, the threat of personally sensitive data being leaked and used against people’s wishes is rising quickly. Data security firm, Websense reported a 600 percent increase in web-based attacks on hospitals in the past 10 months. Other reports on the growing trend are highlighted here.

Credit cards have a relatively short usable life after theft and a typically small personal liability ‒ often only $50 to the consumer. Health information, on the other hand, can be used in a variety of ways by hackers and will cost organizations dearly in HIPAA fines and legal bills from legitimate consumer lawsuits.

For non-profit and government health institutions, the needed security measures must be taken within the austere budget environment. Finding cost effective ways to better secure these records is likely to be a key challenge for these health providers and a key focus for technology vendors in 2015.

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