You’ve been hacked. Those are three words that no one ever wants to hear, whether you’re browsing your personal computer or the head of a mega-corporation’s IT department.
Unfortunately, even health businesses can get hacked. How’s that for a setback to their digital health? Now more than ever, health companies need to protect their valuable data. To prevent hacking and discover the five surprising ways health businesses get hacked, keep reading.
- Outdated Browsers
Hospitals like to use Internet Explorer, their most popular browser. 22 percent of healthcare users have an outdated browser such as Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10. Microsoft no longer offers updates and security patches to these outdated versions.
As a result, more security vulnerabilities will become better-known but they will be unpatched and thus easily exploited. Health companies need to keep their browsers up-to-date to stay safe.
If they’re not using Google Chrome already, then they should because it updates and applies patches automatically.
- Outdated Java and Flash
Outdated Flash and Java software are another cause of hacks. Compared to other industries, there are twice as many healthcare users with Flash installed and three times as many healthcare customers with Java installed.
Outdated versions of these programs make users susceptible to hacks. Using outdated versions is like leaving your front door unlocked. Keep these programs patched and up-to-date. Apply patches as soon as they’re released.
- Outdated Devices and Operating Systems
Healthcare systems strongly prefer the Windows operating system, but only 10 percent of them use the latest version. Believe it or not, some healthcare providers still use Windows XP.
Microsoft stopped supporting that in 2014, so patches and updates for it are no longer available. Windows 7, once a commonly-used operating system, still had over 500 vulnerabilities even at the peak of its use.
Just like with the other outdated aspects listed above, an outdated operating system enables hackers to exploit flaws to get unauthorized access to the network. They can then try to lock the system down until users pay a ransom fee.
- Theft and Other Physical Breaches
Hackers can be more or less sophisticated in their methods. Unlike the more complex hackers listed above, brute force hackers gravitate toward traditional theft and other physical means.
95% of security incidents with a physical cause are due to theft. Surveillance, tampering, and snooping are less common causes.
Thieves target laptops and documents in at least 75% of all theft-related security incidents. About half of the time, laptops are stolen from vehicles.
- The Enemy Within
In addition to all of the bad actors outside of a health company, you should beware the potential enemies lurking within your company.
58% of data breaches are caused by staff members, while only 42% of them are caused by external actors. Whether they’re motivated by money, curiosity, convenience, or sheer evil, these people are dangerous.
Keeping Health Businesses Safe
Health businesses require some extra care to keep their precious data safe. Bad people from inside and outside of health companies can sabotage a company’s privacy and security through any of the methods explained above.
For more knowledge to protect your business, browse the site’s Tech section.
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