Rise in Cyber Attacks Costing Healthcare Billions

Cyber attack According to security researchers, a rise in cyber attacks against doctors and hospitals is costing the U.S. healthcare industry $6 billion a year as organized criminals who once targeted retailers and financial firms increasingly go after medical records. UCLA Health System is the latest organization to fall victim to criminal hacking. On Friday, the organization notified 4.5 million patients that their private health information was compromised. Social Security numbers, medical diagnoses, diseases, clinical procedures, test results, address and dates of birth were all among the data swiped by hackers in the cyber attack. UCLA Health Systems joins a growing list of organizations that have fallen victim to criminal cyber attacks and it is costing the healthcare industry billions. According to the Ponemon Institute, a security research and consulting firm, attacks against healthcare providers have more than doubled in the past five years, with the average data breach costing a hospital $2.1 million. Why is healthcare a target? Medical records, which often contain Social Security numbers, insurance IDs, addresses and medical details, sell for as much as 20 times the price of a stolen credit-card number, according to Dell SecureWorks, a unit of Dell Inc. According to data from HHS, to date, the UCLA breach is tied for the fourth largest HIPAA breach ever reported. Other notable breaches this year include the Anthem cyber attack reported in February, which compromised the Social Security numbers and personal data of nearly 80 million members and employees. And the Premera Blue Cross hack in January, which exposed the financial and medical data of another 11 million members

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