Retailers have recently come under immense scrutiny due to the lack of protection for their customers’ personal data. Retailers, however, are not the most vulnerable organizations to data theft. That dubious honor belongs to the health care industry. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, health care organizations experienced 43% of all cyber attacks or 267 total breaches last year.
These numbers are hardly shocking. A Washington Post report from 2012 found that the health care sector had not even begun to address these security flaws. This is especially disconcerting with the mandatory implementation of Electronic Health Records ("EHR"), and the move to more technologically based systems. It is imperative health care organizations make their systems more compliant, and their patients’ data more secure.
It is also important to note that most of these breaches occurred at the state rather than federal level. California had one of the largest breaches, when two lap tops were stolen from a health care office in Los Angeles County. Almost 700,000 patients’ data and records were affected. A more robust security system is imperative to thwart future cyber attacks and protect consumer interests. Hackers can use individuals’ medical data for numerous illegal activities including prescription drug purchasing, identity theft, and selling your personal information on the black market.
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Image via Identity Theft Resource Center