Weaknesses in cyber security surely exist and the recent Anthem breach has many believing that this is just the start of an awful trend. As well as the actual medical and miscellaneous personal information, social security numbers and financial information (for payment to providers) are all in one place – providing the winning trifecta for hackers. Electronic medical records are part of a very interconnected web of information that flows from doctors to hospitals to insurance companies to government agencies and each such “open” connection is just another opportunity for would be hackers to gain an entrance to the information. However, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) spokesperson Aaron Albright stated there is no evidence that the Anthem attack compromised data stored on HealthCare.gov or Medicare.gov and that CMS systems have not been breached. He said the department will “remain vigilant in responding to cybersecurity events”
With 80 million members and employees, Anthem is the nation’s second largest health insurer and they have retained Mandiant, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, to evaluate our systems and identify solutions. Though the stolen data did not seem to include medical information such as test results, it did include names, employment information, income data, Social Security numbers, addresses, email addresses, and medical ID numbers.
Healthcare providers are considered more of a soft target as they spend less in cyber security than financial institutions, and in this instance, it appears information was no encrypted, leaving it wide open for use after being gained. Some says it was just a matter of time before hackers realized this and started working on hacks into large healthcare providers. For Chief Information Security Officers around the globe, this was quite a reminder that hackers are out there working to breach healthcare systems and that security needs to be stepped up all around to insure the safety of so much valuable patient data.
Even at the provider level, security must be taken seriously and the first step is making sure you have the appropriate firewalls set up. Microwize Technology can help you assess your systems and provide you with security solutions. Call today to learn more about what you can be doing to keep you data safe.