Phishing Attacks Still Put Healthcare Data Security at Risk in 2016
One of the unfortunate facts of the digital world in which we now live is that the world may be getting smaller thanks to the Internet, but it certainly isn't getting safer. This is particularly true in terms of healthcare organizations, who are regularly the number one target for hackers (even exceeding the financial services industry) due to the huge premium electronic health records and other medical data commands on the black market.
According to a recent healthcare data security 2016 study, it is actually phishing attacks that are having the most effect on the industry. The study, conducted in association with HealthIT Security, revealed that there was a 250% increase in phishing websites year over year, which is concerning for a large number of different reasons.
Why Healthcare Remains a Top Target for Phishing Attacks
What is a Phishing Attack?
In the simplest possible terms, a phishing attack is an instance where a hacker essentially "tricks" a victim into providing information like usernames, passwords and more, which can then be used to breach a system and cause a potentially immeasurable amount of damage. A hacker may send an email to a user claiming to be a representative from their bank, asking them to provide their username and password to fix an issue with an account. Once that information has been willfully handed over, identity theft and other issues are essentially a foregone conclusion.
Data Security at Risk 2016: Healthcare Remains a Target
The reason this is particularly concerning to health care organizations is because phishing techniques have become much more aggressive in 2016 than ever before. Hackers are now using things like keyloggers that, when combined with sophisticated tracking components, can target specific information and organizations during an attack. A single successful phishing attack could potentially compromise a healthcare organization's entire network, leaving every last electronic health record inside exposed.
Spear-phishing is a prime example of the type of new age attack healthcare organizations now face. These types of spear-phishing emails often result in a small piece of malware being downloaded to the user's computer without their knowledge, causing a network breach that may go undetected for huge periods of time via unpatched software.
The Benefits of FTP Sites
One of the best ways that healthcare organizations can combat these types of threats is through the use of high-security FTP sites for all file transfer needs. These FTP sites have advanced data security features in place that could be particularly helpful even after a successful phishing attack, like the ability to immediately cut off access to any user or the ability to automatically reject traffic based on a range of IP addresses or even country of origin.
In 2016, remaining safe in a digital world requires healthcare organizations to take a proactive approach to data security. By far, secure FTP sites are one of the single best ways to accomplish exactly that.
Did you know FTP Today is the leading file sharing and data security solution for the healthcare industry?
Get to know some of the features of FTP Today that specifically helps protect medical practices from HIPAA violations, while allowing them to securely store and sensitive patient protected health information (PHI).
About Martin Horan
Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.