Healthcare information under attack

Medical Doctor holding a world globe in her hands as medical network concept
Medical Doctor holding a world globe in her hands as medical network concept

U.S. healthcare providers lag way behind other industries in protecting their digitized data about patients. Thus the number of cyber-attacks is only expected to accelerate.

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The number of healthcare-data attacks over the past five years has increased 125 percent as the industry has become an easy target

Personal health information is 50 times more valuable on the black market than financial information, according to the survey. Foreign powers, especially China, have been hard at work stealing the personal health records of many Americans, most notably of government employees who might be vulnerable to being blackmailed into giving foreign governments U.S. secrets.

U.S. healthcare providers spend on average less than 6 percent of their information- technology budget expenditures on security, according to a survey from HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and security firm Symantec.

The federal government spends 16 percent of its IT budget on security, while financial institutions spend 12-15 percent.