#CyberFLASH: Health care industry warned again it’s in the cross-hairs of cyber-thieves

images-126Health care providers and insurers are seeing 340 per cent more security incidents and attacks than most industries, according to a report issued today.

The numbers, gleaned from a global survey last year by security provider Raytheon Websense, is another warning to the industry that the personal and financial information they hold is seen by cyber thieves as at least as important, if not more, than data held by retailers and governments.

In an interview Robert Slocum, Websense’s senior security product marketing manager, noted that a health care record on the black market is 10 times more valuable than credit card info.

Last year health providers and insurers were 200 per cent more likely to encounter phishing lures and redirects than most industries, today’s report pointed out.

Attacks on commercial companies like Target, Sony, and the U.S. and Canadian governments have been headlined. But there have also been huge breaches in U.S. medical industry this year, including insurer Anthem Inc. where account information of as many as 80 million customers was exposed.

In Canada, hospitals or regional health authorities still hold patient records despite provincially-run medicare. Unlike the U.S., where many patients aren’t covered by private insurance and have to pay up front for care, institutions here won’t have much in the way of credit card data. But they will have some private health care information. opening the door to insurance fraud.

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