Healthcare hacks jump 1,800% in 5 years, and growing — 5 key points for ASCs

From 2008 to 2013, healthcare hacks jumped 1,800 percent, but there are still several major healthcare institutions that don't have a tight enough security policy, according to the Washington Examiner

Here are five key points from the report:

1. There were 13 hacks where more than 500 patients were exposed in 2008; that number jumped to 256 in 2013.

2. Healthcare hacks impacted 9 million people last year, according to a Brookings Institute report.

3. Health insurers like anthem are now being hacked. The anthem hack exposed 80 million current and former members.

4. The top fine healthcare providers face when hacked is $1.5 million, which is a lot for most surgery centers but isn't a huge disincentive given the cost to implement heavy security for large firms.

5. Healthcare data is increasingly attractive to hackers because it provides valuable information and often isn't very secure, especially for small healthcare providers.

It's particularly important in healthcare where providers hold personal information about their patients from Social Security and credit card numbers to health histories, according to a Reuters report. Experts are now suggesting medical information is 10-times more valuable than credit card numbers on the black market. Hackers can steal information to purchase medical equipment or drugs to resell or match patient numbers with false providers to file fraudulent payer claims.

Here are five key ways ASCs can avoid exposure:

• Keep antivirus/antimalware up-to-date
• Limit laptop use
• Don't allow unsecured email access
• Regularly audit IT security
• Issue employees mobile devices for the center

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