Patient records falling into cybercriminals’ hands

Published on 19.09.2016

Electronic patient records make it easier to share information between institutions, even if they are in different countries. However, what seems like a huge benefit at first glance also comes with risks attached. Cybercrime does not draw the line at attacking healthcare providers. The latest issue of healthcare trade magazine Curaviva contains an interview with Martin Leuthold, Head of Security at SWITCH, about the sector’s growing problem with online crime.

He quotes recent reports showing that it is already the second most popular target for cybercriminals – ahead of the banking and industrial sectors. He also warns of an increasingly serious danger: more and more medical technology is connected to the Internet but not equipped to deal with the threats lurking there. Hospitals, he says, operate highly complex information systems that process and store vast quantities of data. The biggest weakness, however, will always be the human factor, for example people accidentally opening malicious phishing e-mails. On top of this, organised crime is spreading through the Internet at such a speed that "good practice" in hospitals’ IT security is no longer enough. They need to step up their defences. According to Leuthold, "pooling resources in joint centres of expertise" is called for.

Read the full article from Curaviva, including the overview (supplied by SWITCH) of measures to protect against cybercrime:

"Patient records are lucrative ‘hostages`", Curaviva, September 2016 (in German)
Other articles