FBI targets healthcare in new ‘flash warning’

Hackers are still a concern for healthcare organizations, according to the FBI.

Reuters is reporting on an FBI advisory specifically addressed to the healthcare industry. In a special "flash warning" recieved by that news organization, the FBI said that "malicious actors" are still hunting after protected medical data, and that practices need to take steps to ensure that patients and participants lower their risk level. 

This organization has warned medical providers about vulnerability before, but the recent attack on Community Health Systems' patient data provides a fresh platform for the government to target this particular sector. Practices should take this opportunity to review their own systems for evidence of possible current or future HIPAA violations.

In the warning quoted by Reuters, the FBI emphasized the broad nature of these data attacks and the different types of information that are possible targets. Breaches aren't limited to the personal health records inside a practice's data exchange.

"These actors have also been seen targeting multiple companies in the healthcare and medical device industry typically targeting valuable intellectual property, such as medical device and equipment development data," the warning states.

The Community breach is still thought to have been coordinated by Chinese hackers, a charge denied by that country. More than 4 million people had their information compromised over a period of three months earlier this year, and the stolen data included Social Security numbers and patient addresses.

With or without these government warnings, breaches are a constant reminder of the need for tighter security regulations. Healthcare compliance consulting services offer a means of staying in touch with the latest codes and increasing the Meaningful Use ranking of your organization.

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