2017 HIPAA Fines Off to a Fast Start

Question: Does your office have a cybersecurity healthcare plan? Question: Did you know that by law your healthcare practice is required to have a cybersecurity plan in place to safeguard against cybercriminals who would use your patients' private medical records to turn a profit?

Cybersecurity in healthcare management is pivotal to your practice. In 2016 alone, there were 13 HIPAA enforcement fines that cost healthcare groups a record $23.5 million.

Not one month into the new year, two violations have already generated a $2.7 million cost, leading experts to believe that 2017's HIPAA violations costs will be higher than the previous year.

If a cybercriminal were to try and access your patients' confidential medical information, would they succeed? How strenuous is your cybersecurity? Would a cybercriminal throw their hands up in the air and give up, or would they be able to infiltrate your network and gut the system, selling all of your patients' confidential data on the dark web? If you're not sure, that's not a good sign. Do you have the cybersecurity and business insurance protection to cover your group after a breach?

Protect your healthcare group and your patients with cybersecurity healthcare insurance, brought to you by CyberPolicy.

HIPAA Cybersecurity Guidelines
After doing some research, you'll learn that the HIPAA Security Rule demands by law that hospitals, healthcare providers and healthcare clearinghouses maintain cybersecurity of patients' health information and medical records. According to Health and Human Services (HHS) "The Security Rule requires appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and security of electronic protected health information."

Healthcare providers face a significant threat by cybercrime collectives. According to Forbes Magazine, healthcare is the number one industry to be hit by cyberattacks. Healthcare IT News reported that of the seven largest data breaches in 2015, the healthcare industry numbered three.  

In a news story published by Reuters, patient medical data is worth 10 times more than stolen credit card numbers on the dark web. Medical records produce names, dates of birth and SSNs; it's a treasure trove of data that cannot be changed, unlike a credit card number. Health insurance information is valuable too, as it's used to make fraudulent medical claims, putting the cybercriminal in the green and your patient at zero.

Cybersecurity Data Breaches: The Healthcare Industry
There's a reason cybercriminals are targeting healthcare groups, the most unnerving being that they are very easy networks to crack. As found by PBS News Hour, "Healthcare occupies a vulnerable cybersecurity space. With the rise of health frackers, self-care and personalized medicine, people, doctors and regulators want easier modes to access patient data. The dangers come from opening huge highways for sharing and storing data without the proper digital protections." In working to streamline healthcare, the healthcare industry has in effect made it easier for cybercriminals to hack into their systems and steal confidential data.

This stolen data could prove to be a lifelong headache for your patients. With their SSN, names and birthdates being sold to the highest bidders, they can sue you for negligence and HIPAA can (and will) come after you too.

To protect your patients and healthcare group, invest in a cybersecurity plan with CyberPolicy ASAP.

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