Healthcare and medical practices have benefited immensely in recent years from digital technology. Better data collection means that physicians have immediate access to the information they need to make diagnostic decisions and provide better care.
But this technology also comes with huge challenges. In the US, as well as around the world, medical IT security has often not kept up with the pace compared to other industries and sectors.
The Size of the Healthcare IT Security Problem
USA Today reported recentlythat Quest Diagnostics had suffered breach that could affect in the region of 12 million patients and their data. Quest are a diagnostic testing company that undertakes processes such as blood analysis and cancer tests. On top of medical information for patients, the data breach may also have exposed financial information and social security numbers.
It’s not just hospitals and physicians that need to worry. Health Insurance company Anthem has suffered one of the most notable breach incidents in the last five or six years when the data for 80 million people was stolen. This problem with healthcare IT security is not confined to the US either. Over the last few years, the National Health Service in the UK has been subject to numerous attacks.
The problem for patients is that all this data could be used by hackers to attack individuals. For example, a patient that has been diagnosed with cancer may be more likely to open a phishing email that contains content related to their disease.
The Future of Medical IT Security
With a large percentage of Americans living with pre-existing conditions and their medical and other details on record digitally, the need for more robust IT security services is now even more important. Healthcare IT security remains behind many other industries at the moment and certainly, a lot still needs to be done to tighten up systems.