Market Overview

Cyber-Attacks Cost The Health Care Industry Billions A Year

Cyber-Attacks Cost The Health Care Industry Billions A Year

The rise of cyber-attacks has led to virtually every company beefing up its internal security measures to limit, not eliminate, the fallout from future attacks.

The list of sectors most prone to attacks include the obvious choices: financial institutions, governmental organizations and retailers that track tens of millions of customers. However, one sector whose threats may be misunderstood by the public is healthcare.

According to Bloomberg, cyber-attacks against health-care providers have more than doubled over the past five years. The average data breach costs a hospital $2.1 million, a figure that is alarming considering nearly 90 percent of all health-care providers faced a cyber-attack in the past two years.

Related Link: What's Fueling Cybersecurity Stocks?

Bloomberg estimated that the rise in attacks against doctors, hospitals, insurance providers and other members of the health care community is costing the entire industry $6 billion annually.

"The health-care industry is being hunted and hacked by the elite financial criminal syndicates that had been targeting large financial institutions until they realized health-care databases are more valuable," Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro Inc. told Bloomberg.

What makes health care providers an attractive victim is the fact that they likely store Social Security numbers, insurance IDs, addresses and medical details. Bloomberg noted this kind of sensitive data sells for as much as 20 times the price of a stolen credit-card number in the dark web where buyers and sellers remain anonymous and virtually untraceable.

2015 is proving to be a very difficult year as hackers have thus far accessed nearly 80 million records from Anthem Inc (NYSE: ANTM) and 11 million records from Premera Blue Cross.

As such, the total number of records stolen in the first half of 2015 are already in excess of last year's total.

Posted-In: Bloomberg cyber attacks financial institutionsNews Health Care Events Tech General Best of Benzinga


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