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More successful data breaches occur in healthcare than any other industry, according Symantec’s “2016 Internet Security Threat Report” published this month.

The healthcare industry suffered 120 data breaches in 2015 while government, which ranked second, suffered only 20.

While the number of attempted attacks against healthcare organizations was far lower than in other industries, the success rate of attacks against healthcare organizations was much higher for two reasons:

  • The high value of patient data. The street price of patient records is more than 20 times the price of a stolen credit card. That’s because patient records often contain detailed personal information including social security number, address, age, race, even family information which is highly valued by identity thieves. Patient records also contain prescription and prescribing physician information which can be sold to drug gangs.  Patient data is critical for hospital operations. If it’s locked up by ransomware, operations come to a halt.
  • The high number of vulnerable targets. Hospitals contain hundreds of devices that are connected to the hospital network and accessible by the internet, any one of which could be either a target or a vector into other systems. As the study states,  “This year, attacks spread beyond PCs to smartphones, Mac and Linux systems, with attackers increasingly seeking any network-connected device that could be held hostage for profit, indicating that the enterprise is the next target.”

iTivity protects Linux IT vendors and their customers from data breaches originating from one of the most common attack vectors — vendor-supported Linux systems inside the customer network.  iTivity provides Linux-based products with a secure environment that locks down remote access to only those with current access privileges.   Learn how at itivity.net/product.