Concerns over healthcare cybersecurity | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Last month, United Healthcare announced it was the victim of a cyberattack. Some in the industry say trust in the system, while a cybersecurity expert says we’re helpless when this happens.

“I think healthcare systems are probably the most protected of all in the country,” says healthcare consultant John Bartimole. He says every healthcare system he works with goes to the utmost protect it. He says that applies to whatever business you do online. “I think there has to be a level of trust between us in the people to whom we’re providing that information. And I do I share my information with with my health care providers, and I feel very safe doing that,” says Bartimole.

Bartimole believes there will always be attempts to hack into any business’ computer systems. But he notes the healthcare industry goes above and beyond in protecting information we give. “If you look at how many healthcare institutions there are just in Western New York, the cyber attack is is fairly rare. That doesn’t mean we should be concerned, but I think we have to have a level of trust with with our providers,” says Bartimole.

He adds the problem is you never know if you’ve been cyber attack until you know you’ve been cyber attacked.

Cybersecurity expert Arun Vishwanath says we are helpless when it comes to avoiding cyberattacks on companies we do business with. “Every one of us has been a victim of a cyber attack, we just don’t know it. And it’s for nothing we did. It’s some company out there that lost our data,” says Vishwanath.

Vishwanath says there are three reasons why healthcare industries are a target for cyberattacks. One is a high reliance on technology. “Everything has gotten centralized, there are technological groups that have now been formed that have centralized almost every part of the health IT process,” explains Vishwanath. He adds there are a lot of legacy systems which still remain pretty vulnerable. “The third problem is, we’ve still not dealt with the singular problem, which is, people are the biggest weakness. Somewhere, there’s always an individual who made a mistake for which the bad guys get it,” notes Vishwanath.

What can we do? Vishwanath says we have an implied contract with companies that we give our data to. “We just put our data there, presuming that they’re doing the best things that they can to protect our data. Unfortunately, we don’t know what those best things are that they’re doing, because clearly they’re not doing it,” says Vishwanath. He says the only solution seems to be holding people accountable, but laws passed have hurt us in the event of a cyberattack. “We have these breach notification laws. So every company, every state has different breach notification requirements. But the problem is the lawyers got involved. So today, most of these companies will tell you what happened to meet the letter of the law, but not really the intent. So you really will not find out what happened,” explains Vishwanath. That means no one is getting to the bottom of the problem.


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