Healthcare industry has plenty of room to improve data security

Healthcare industry has plenty of room to improve data security

Some of the most high-profile cyberattacks have been against brands that are easily identifiable to just about anyone. Recent hacks that made their rounds in the news cycle include bitcoin, Home Depot, Target and Sony Pictures. Yet as cloud computing and other forms of centralized data storage are gaining popularity, cyberattacks are also disrupting a wide range of businesses that may not be at the forefront of America's attention.

The healthcare industry has been a regular victim of cyber crime over the past few years. And while tech engineers are doing their best to counter these threats with cybersecurity innovations, the problem has yet to be resolved.

Anthem hack directly affects millions of people
USA Today reported that a cyberattack has resulted in as many as 80 million customers of Anthem Inc. having their account information stolen.

Joseph Swedish, president and CEO of Anthem, the second largest health insurance provider in the country, said that the company was the victim of a highly sophisticated cyberattack. The hackers tapped into the company's database and took information such as names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, street and email address, employment information and medical IDs.

"The Anthem insurance company breach is another in a long line of breaches that continue to have a deep and disheartening effect on consumer behavior and the smooth flow of commerce both her at home and worldwide," Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, told the news outlet.

Healthcare company in New York also loses records to data breach
Senior Health Partners, a company that manages Medicaid and Medicare plans, announced that a cyberattacker purloined the healthcare records of 2,700 members, Modern Healthcare reported.

While the company's encryption strategy could have helped prevent the data breach, SHP noted that the encryption key was also stolen.

"SHP is reviewing and updating its policies and procedures and those of its business associates to prevent a similar incident from recurring," a company statement noted, according to the news outlet.

Biometrics shown to prevent data breaches
Anthem Inc., SHP and a host of other healthcare companies are undoubtedly reassessing their security measures in the aftermath of these costly data breaches. To ensure the most effective approach to data safety, healthcare chief executives should implement biometric technology. This kind of system requires unique physical traits such as a fingerprint to enable access control. And for the most surefire method, dual access biometrics is an elite form of cybersecurity.

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