Why is Securing Health Care Data So Difficult?

The health care industry is extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks in comparison to other industries. However, a recent cybersecurity report from Verizon points out that most health care data breaches have originated from internal actors. Not only is the health care industry vulnerable to attacks that are performed maliciously for financial gain or private information, many vulnerabilities are caused from human error.

What the Report Found

Verizon found that 58 percent of cybersecurity incidences in the health care industry involved insiders. Data is most often stolen for identity theft to commit tax fraud or open lines of credit. It’s also stolen to access personal records of relatives or celebrities for blackmail.

Where malicious code has been introduced to health care computer systems, 70 percent is ransomware. Phishing emails, opening attachments, surfing the web, and improperly protected networks can allow ransomware and malware to quickly spread through vulnerable networks.

The health care industry still relies on printed documents. Improper handling, misdelivery, and improper disposal of paper records accounts for 27 percent of medical data breaches.

What Can You Do to Secure Health Care Data?

HIPAA requires the health care industry to make sure that patient data is protected on computer systems. Steps you can take include:

  • Using full disk encryption can help prevent data from being used by cyberthieves.
  • Performing routine monitoring of access to data.
  • Educating employees through security training about improperly accessing patient data.
  • Safely disposing of paper records containing patient data and reducing the use of paper records.


Does your workplace have an IT team? Elontec provides comprehensive technology solutions, including tech infrastructure, cloud hosting, security, and communications. They can even provide you with staffing and installation. Their 24/7/365 network security and monitoring services will help lessen your system’s vulnerabilities to cyberthreats. Keep your healthcare data safe and your patients safer.