Cyber-Attacks on Health Care Organizations Costing Billions
Addressing cyber-security proactively can improve a provider’s ability to thwart attacks by an average of 53 percent, Accenture research shows.Cyber-attacks over the next five years will cost U.S. health systems $305 billion in cumulative lifetime revenue, according to a report from Accenture. The consulting company estimates that one in 13 patients—roughly 25 million people—will have personal information, such as social security or financial records, stolen from technology systems over the next five years. "To ensure that providers do not suffer revenue loss due to security breaches, they must prioritize active defense strategies," Brian Kalis, managing director of digital health for Accenture, told eWEEK. "Accenture predicts these can thwart cyber-attacks by 53 percent over a two-year period. This requires risk-based approaches to cyber-security management, using analytics to identify significant events and threats, while enabling much faster responses to breaches." Kalis noted consumers have significant responsibility when it comes to protecting their own data, explaining it’s important that consumers support and reward medical providers who practice good security and encourage conversations about privacy and data security.
"At a practical level, a consumer can communicate with their medical provider to request paper forms be shredded, confirm authenticity of emails and mailings requesting personal and medical data, use good, unique passwords and two-factor authentication wherever available, keep personal devices safe and up to date with antivirus, firewalls and other personal technologies especially when those are used to access medical records and communications," he said. "In addition, consumers should monitor their healthcare records and insurances claims for inaccuracies, which could be possible signs their medical identity has been compromised."