PHI is worth up to 20x more than credit card data
These days cyber security is all over the news, but sometimes it’s hard to imagine how these criminals obtain your personal information or why they even want it. It’s easy to think about the benefit a criminal can gain from obtaining your credit card number. They can go on a shopping spree and you’ll have to foot the bill.
But why is your protected health information so coveted?
There’s more value attached to healthcare-related data than other types of personal information. Think about it: Some criminal decides to take your credit card information, you can close it in a matter of seconds. But with your social security number, criminals can pull off stealing your identity that may go undetected for months.
Then there’s prescription fraud which is an easier way for the bad guys to access high-priced drugs. If your PHI creates access to valuable drugs, it just got way more valuable than your credit card.
According to the Information Security Media Group, the price on the market for a stolen credit card number ranges from $0.50 to $5 compared to the price on the market for stolen health credentials which ranges from $10 to $50. If your information does get breached you could be among the 65% of medical identity theft victims who paid an average of $13,500 to resolve the crime (Payments made to healthcare providers, identity service providers or legal counsel).
With the increase in breaches, there are new legal requirements that drive healthcare providers to increase their security. More and more companies are becoming increasingly aware of cyber security risks.
Some basic steps you can take to protect you and your company include:
- Ensuring the right controls are in place
- Implementing policies and procedures to guarantee you don’t expose your health information your patient’s health information and/or other sensitive data. ASMGi can help you in your endeavors by evaluating your security program.
- Training your staff about what PHI is and how to treat it differently than other data.