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Stolen medical records traded on the black market

Security experts say cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the healthcare industry because of its aging computer systems that do not use the latest security features.

Security experts say stolen medical information such as names, b

irth dates, policy numbers, and billing information is sold on the black market for 10 times more than

your credit card details. The information is used to create fake IDs to buy medical equipment or to obtain controlled substances for resale, or they combine a patient number with a false provider number and file made-up claims with insurers.

Patients only find out that their credentials have been stolen after they receive unpaid bills sent to them from debt collectors.

The existence of a black market for stolen medical records highlights the ever-increasing need to update legacy technological systems designed almost 10 years ago. The mistake many healthcare organisations are making is the vast amount of money being spent on traditional perimeter defences, such as firewalls and antivirus software, then lulling themselves into believing the job is done.

Advancements in technology can slow down hackers. Frameworks such as encryption, blockchain, effective access controls, and intelligent monitoring techniques to highlight abnormal behaviour that can track hackers, have proven to be highly effective. But with the conservatism surrounding technology in healthcare and the slowness to adopt new technology, the industry is facing a major threat from cybercriminals.