We have stressed in many prior blog posts the singular nature of the health care industry across many dimensions, including, centrally, the realm’s uppercase concern with this constant and ever-growing threat: attacks by hackers aimed at medical actors’ proprietary and most confidential data.
Although that of course spells a great concern for any industry, the downsides associated with a cyber attack in the medical field can easily become comparatively catastrophic. Patients’ records contain extremely sensitive information. Billing data is replete with things like Social Security numbers, credit card specifics and other financial data. Internal hospital systems link with medical devices, surgical processes, medication dosing and other key care components.
Thus, compromised data can yield a harsh outcome. As is becoming increasingly commonplace, cyber criminals are demanding ransoms from hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices for the return of information and/or restoring of core medical functions. Confidential records are being sold on the so-called “dark web” for subsequent unlawful uses. Fallout from major hacks has had devastating public-relation outcomes for medical facilities.
A recent media focus on cyber attacks notes the tremendous risks posed by pilfered customer information and stolen intellectual property and other assets, as well as the reputational damage that can be inflicted on a business as the result of such things.
That report stresses a new imperative that is becoming increasingly obvious, namely, the need for almost every business — and certainly every medical actor — to have protections in place to deal with hacking attempts and, importantly, safeguards to mitigate their damage in the wake of a successful digital incursion by criminals.
Among other protections, cybersecurity insurance is increasingly being nodded to as a prerequisite for ensuring protection against the broad-based liability that can emerge following a cyber attack.
Hospital administrators, doctors, medical device makers and other industry professionals have every right to be concerned with the due protection of their systems and records. An experienced law firm with proven acumen in helping medical participants across a wide universe deal with legal challenges of all kinds can help any medical industry client address cybersecurity concerns and implement viable strategies to protect against risks.