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Only 10% of Hospitals & Clinics Keep Their Patients’ Data Safe
Prime Telecommunications Shares Startling Findings and Educates Healthcare Providers on Solutions
By: Prime Telecommunications
Most attacks are caused by hackers who want to acquire medical records due to their extreme value. The information in medical records (name, birthdate, addresses, phone numbers, medical history and social security numbers), can be easily used for identity theft, fraudulent medical billing or acquiring prescriptions to resell on the street. Hackers can use the medical information to accomplish just about anything once acquired. This flaw in IT security is not a series of isolated incidents but an incredibly widespread problem now affecting millions of people across the nation.
In August, Community Health Systems reported that Chinese hackers had allegedly stolen a staggering 4.5 million patient records in what could be the largest breach of patient data to date. The company is treating the breach as a violation of HIPPA, even though the hackers didn’t gain access to medical records (only names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers were stolen). The breach happened between April and June this year, and was discovered in July. According to cyber-security firm Mandiant, which helped investigate the breach, the group responsible for the attack is known as “APT 18,” and may have links to the Chinese government.
The majority of hospitals and health organizations are using outdated technology on a single network making the job of hacking into networks even easier for criminals. IT security is often a large oversight for healthcare organizations because their objective is to save lives. Unfortunately, lack of internal IT expertise and outdated technology plagues the healthcare industry making it an easy target.
Vic Levinson, President of Prime Telecommunications, commented, “The challenge here is that doctors are inherently more interested in saving lives, instead of upgrading their IT security. This a great thing for society and we believe that’s exactly what doctors should be focused on! The only thing is that IT security must be addressed too. Over the years, we’ve learned exactly what it takes to protect health organizations and we love being a part of the solution to this problem. It’s unfortunate when something like this happens but it brings much needed education to the issues at hand. We consider it our duty to educate our market and provide doctors with the technology tools they need to do their jobs, protect their patients and spend their time focused on saving lives, instead of firewalls. That’s our job.”
ABOUT PRIME TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC.
Since 1993, Prime Telecommunications has been working with thousands businesses in the Chicago metropolitan area. Initially, working to assist small companies manage the complexity of telecommunications equipment and services, Prime has evolved into a resource for businesses to put together all of the pieces of the information technology puzzle. From hosted applications to hosted phone services, back up and database management, Prime is all about providing technology solutions for businesses.
For more information on Prime Telecommunications, call (847)329 8600 or visit www.primetelecommunications.com.