Nationwide Survey Spotlights Increasing Threat Hackers Pose to Health Care Industry — And How Organizations are Responding
Patient health and medical records. Social security numbers. Credit card information. Billing and insurance records. Cyberthieves are targeting this information and threatening to hold it hostage, putting the health care industry on edge, according to a nationwide survey of nearly 300 health care attorneys conducted by AHLA and Bloomberg Law.
The research found that the majority of health care attorneys are intimately involved in managing cybersecurity issues. Over eight in ten (84 percent) have been called upon to evaluate whether a security incident implicates reporting obligations and have been asked to develop relevant internal policies and procedures. And nearly all responding health care attorneys (97 percent) expect their involvement in cybersecurity matters to increase over the next three years, and over seven in ten are developing their own data security expertise to meet this growing demand.
When it comes to cyberthreat responses, both law firm attorneys and corporate counsel feel prepared to respond to a breach or cyberattack but worry that those plans may be inadequate. For example, about 40 percent of all attorneys said the plans are too generic and lack specific guidance for the types of incidents their organizations or clients might face and have not been adequately tested prior to an actual breach incident. And fully one-third of surveyed attorneys indicated that plans are not updated to reflect the most recent types of cyberthreats or organizational changes.
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