The role of contractors, hackers and regulators in cybersecurity

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What do contractors, hackers and regulators have in common?

They all are key players in cybersecurity issues for healthcare providers.

Katherine Keefe, head of Beazley Breach Response Services, outlined the role these three entities play in cybersecurity at the American Society for Healthcare Risk annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 27.

Contractors: According to HHS, 26 percent of healthcare data breaches involving at least 500 people have involved contractors. "A growing number of healthcare providers are asking us: ''How can we make sure that our vendors have the security environments that they should to maintain our patient data?'" said Ms. Keefe.

Hackers: Hackers pose an obvious threat to cybersecurity, and their presence is growing. In fact, some reports suggest medical information is now more valuable to hackers than credit card information, as it provides both financial and medical information that can be used to purchase drugs or make fraudulent insurance claims.

Regulators: The Office of Civil Rights has slowly but steadily increased the number of data breaches with which it becomes involved. "We do not expect to see any reduction in the OCR's level of scrutiny, particularly given that penalties return to OCR's coffers to fund further enforcement actions," said Ms. Keefe.

More articles on cybersecurity:

Are former employees threatening your IT security?
Small providers spend less than 10% of IT budget on security, survey finds
FDA issues cybersecurity guidance for medical device makers

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