• Ariel Chen

Cyberattacks on Telehealth Vendors Skyrocketed during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Telehealth stands out as a prime target for cybercriminals due to the rapid pace at which telehealth applications were rolled out during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This highlights a need for the healthcare industry to vet and enforce security protocols around new technology providers in order to protect data.

SecurityScorecard and DarkOwl found significant increases in cybersecurity concerns for popular telehealth vendors amid the pandemic. One example, protected health information was the target of a data security breach at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Over 348,000 people’s information are exposed during the breach. Even though its software service provider said no bank info or SSN were exposed, other information was, such as addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Another example, in late June, cybercriminals used ransomware to access the University of California San Francisco's internal networks, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and departments tied to COVID-19 research. UCSF eventually paid hackers $1.14 million in bitcoin to unlock its encrypted data.

To improve cybersecurity in healthcare, organizations need to hire informatics professionals who can not only collect, manage, and leverage data, but protect it as well. If you are interested in taking the next step to foil cyberattacks, please contact MicMD for more information.