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Medical Data Breach - Data Breach in Health Care


How is a breach identified, and what are the steps a hospital or health care organization has to take to prevent a breach?

Locate an example of a hospital or health care organization that has suffered a security breach.

Explain the security breach and the steps taken to mitigate the breach, and explain whether the steps taken were adequate, or if additional steps should have been taken.

Medical Data Breach

A data breach can be simply classified as unauthorized access of data, application or devices by surpassing security system. Security violation is a threat that looms at large in private and public sector alike. Healthcare organizations identify breaches by continuously monitoring their software firewall. Hospitals admit thousands of patients everyday, the data collected pertains details about an individual's health, finances, and other confidential elements. Organizations that have high stake information are at more of a risk of an attack by cybercriminals. It is important for them to safeguard the customers, the speed at which a breach is identified vis a vis contained significantly lowers the damage which might be inflicted. In the new age of technological advancement, everything is made available at the touch of a button. Criminal hackers and cyber terrorists are behind a major data breach. External and internal factors need to be kept in check. Hackers often disguise attacks within the system to further infiltrate and steal data. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations can allocate a threat-hunting strategy. Checks and sweeps of online portals at regular and semi-regular basis along with network activities are required. Being vigilant is the need of the hour. Having a special team made up of specialist experts ensures that no threat goes unnoticed. One of the main drawbacks of this strategy is that it's not very cost effective (Sen &Borle, 2015).

Ponemon Institute has conducted multiple types of research on cyber-attacks. As citizens who have access to news 24/7, we assume that only Criminal entities cause attacks. Human error is also a leading cause of security breach. Organizations need to ensure that people who work in the hospital have some sort of awareness regarding security violations. Awareness training camps should be made common practice. Health care organizations need to keep an eye on cybercriminals, suppliers that do not follow the security protocol and employees that have been left the organization or have been removed forcefully. Business, medical or healthcare, government or military, banking orfinancial and educational organizations are targeted. The computer which seems to be tampered with is pop-ups that redirect the user to another site and locked out accounts are the signs a user should lock for when searching for a possible breach. Organizations can prevent a security violation in the following ways:

Manage Identity and Access
A health care organization needs to ensure that the employees that can access customer information have stringent strategies to ensure that no identity theft takes place. A system can be created wherein users get a limited amount of access to the information or a special login is created for people according to their position. Automation of the system and availability of a paper trail also helps (Floyd, Grieco&Reid, 2016, September).


End User Protection
Advance learning engines have been specifically put in place to monitor abnormal behavior or activity on the network system. Cylance, Crowd Strike, Carbon Black, and even Trend Micro are not many of the end-point identification and reaction (EDR) arrangements available in the market. The functionality of these is more than that of a regular antivirus firewall. End-user needs to be protected on a more contextual basis; the strategy in place should be customized according to the geographical location of the user, and other factors.

Legal Counsel
If a data breach of some kind happens, it is more than necessary to have a team of lawyers. Organizations spend millions and billions of dollars in security violation payout and cover-ups. The finances of the organization suffer along with their image. Office for Civil Rights is known to lead an investigation or two during the time of the breach. Having a plan to tackle issues that may arise from a legal standpoint is the job description of legal counsel.

Encrypt Data & Hardware

Encryption technology is the easiest solution to prevent a data violation. HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the United States of America and other acts around the globe do not consider the loss of encrypted information as a data breach. Hospitals should encrypt patient detail even after the treatment is over. Hardware servers, network endpoints, mobile, and medical devices should also be protected (Ablon, Heaton, Lavery&Romanosky, 2016).

The violation of data in the healthcare sector has been on the rise since the past five years. The size and frequency have undoubtedly increased; more than 80 million people have been victims in this time span alone. The presence of highly sensitive information, inclusive of allby and by recognizable data, be it Social Security numbers, names, and addresses to delicate wellbeing information, for example, Medicaid ID numbers, medical coverage data, and patients' medicinal narratives is the purpose behind digital assaults. Medical clinics, dire consideration centers, drug stores, health care coverage organizations, and other medicinal services suppliers have been attacked as more than half of the security violations end up at medical identity theft, usually with a loss of $2,500. Companies are liable to protect their users and notify them if such an event takes place (Liu, Musen& Chou, 2015).

One of the most severe data breaches in this industry took place in the year 2005, Anthem Blue Cross was made a target and 78.8 million patients were notified to have been stolen. Names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, and dates of birth were stolen among a sea of information. The common denominator between all these users was that they were Anthem health plan members, although some were nonmembers. Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Claremore and UniCare, all parts of the Anthem Blue Cross group were attacked by cyber-terrorist. Free credit monitoring was the strategy employed by the group in wake of the violation and a sixteen million dollar payout was allocated to the public for this event of gory distrust. Anthem's lack of enterprise-wide risk analysis was deemed to be the reason for this. They did not have proper procedures in place to survey data framework action all the time; they likewise neglected to recognize and react to suspected or known security occurrences and neglected to actualize sufficient least access controls (Cheng, Liu & Yao, 2017).


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