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Impacts of Data Breaches on Public Health

Impacts of Data Breaches on Public Health

The impacts of data breaches on Healthcare continues to be a trending concern in 2024. These data breaches put people’s health information at risk and can cause harm. During the first four months of 2024, over 16 million people had their information stolen in healthcare breaches. Most of these were because of hacking or IT problems. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made a report about it and it is estimated that these breaches cost over $1 trillion.

Healthcare is the one of the main targets for cybercriminals. Bad actors want patient information for so they can hold it for ransom or sell it to other bad actors. The cost of fixing breaches is very high and can have a significant impact on patient care. It takes a long time to even know when a breach has happened, which is particularly dangerous. When patient information is stolen, it can hurt how people receive medical treatment. A recent study found that many people got sicker or even died because of healthcare related data breaches. This clearly demonstrates that cyber threats are a life-and-death issue in healthcare.

Healthcare has many weak links that cybercriminals can use. Patient records are valuable, and the systems that hold them can be easily attacked. Also, healthcare systems share data with other groups, giving more chances for attacks. New medical gadgets, like pumps and monitors, are convenient and efficient, but they aren’t always safe from hackers. If hackers take control of these devices, they can harm patients by giving them wrong medicine or changing vital signs. Many healthcare systems maintain data infrastructures that are old and not safe from cyberattacks. They don’t get updated often and don’t have strong security features. This makes them easy targets for hackers.

Healthcare institutions need to act fast to protect their data and patients. Using better security measures, like making sure only the right people can access data, is a good start. But this shouldn’t make it hard for people to use the systems. Balancing safety and ease of use is key. Making sure people can safely access healthcare online is important. This means setting up digital ways for patients and doctors to connect. It should be easy to use and keep information private. Teaching healthcare workers about cybersecurity is a must. They need to know how to spot threats and what to do about them. This helps keep patient information safe.

Patient safety faces a big problem with data breaches. They don’t just cost money; they can also hurt people’s health. But there are ways to make things safer. By using better security, making digital systems easy to use, and teaching people about cybersecurity, healthcare providers can help keep patients safe. Healthcare providers and information technology developers need to work together to put the appropriate protections and processes in place to resolve this significant, ongoing issue.

If you have questions regarding limiting your liability of data breaches, we encourage you to speak to an attorney in regards to protecting yourself and business. Contact INSIDE OUT LEGAL® today to speak with an expert attorney who can help you establish the best policies and procedures to insure your success.

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