Physician Practice

Hackers setting their sights on healthcare

Physician Practice Insider, May 31, 2016

When physicians read about data breaches, the news is typically about a large insurer or health system reporting a massive loss of data, one with tens of thousands of files lost or stolen. But analysts say looking at breaches as a problem reserved for large hospitals and medical groups may create a false sense of security.

“For most of the smaller practices, the reality hasn’t hit home yet,” says Joseph Granneman, CEO for Chicago-based security firm Illumination.io. “There seems to be a general sense of ‘it couldn’t happen to me’ out there.”

Granneman cites an incident that occurred earlier this year in which he was contacted by a small practice that was having problems with its server. “The server had been taken over, but no data was stolen,” he says. “So it didn’t affect any of the practice’s 80,000 or so medical files.”

But until Granneman went in and found the source of the problem, the physicians who owned the practice were fearing the worst.  “There were some tense moments because they weren’t sure if someone had gone in and stolen the files,” he notes. “The general sense was that if that happened, they would have gone out of business.”

This article was originally published in Physician Practice Perspectives. Subscribers can read the full article in the June 2016 issue.

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