Are Hospitals a New Target for Hackers?

Hacking is becoming an increasing problem around the world. Possible Russian meddling in the recent U.S. election received much coverage, but hacking actually occurs far more often than you might suspect. Not surprisingly, countries and companies do not want people to know when they have been hacked and do not reveal such cyber intrusions unless forced to.

Hacking can have a very real effect on the average person. Cases of identity theft are on the rise and various malware programs can turn your computer into a bot that is used for cyber attacks. One of the worries about the increasingly computerized state of cars is whether they can be easily hacked and used as deadly weapons that can ram other vehicles or plow through crowds of pedestrians.

Hospitals are viewed as bastions of safety that help us when we are at our most vulnerable. However, they rely on high tech, computerized equipment that is vulnerable to hackers without the proper cyber security and due diligence on the part of IT staff.

Health care records are the primary target of hackers as they provide a wealth of personal information that can be used for identity theft purposes. Older versions of Microsoft Windows that lacked the most recent security updates were exploited by the Wanna Cry virus, which led to problems in countries all over the world.

There is also the possibility that malicious hackers could take down hospital security systems just for the hell of it. They could cause power failures, take out vital operating systems, interfere with environmental controls…the results could be catastrophic and lead patients to reconsider having even simple procedures done.

It is up to hospital administrative teams to make sure their IT departments are keeping on top of this issue. The amount of time required is minimal, but the added security is extremely valuable.

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