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GUF Effectiveness of Technical Solutions for Securing Patient Data Essay
Final Project Topic Proposal: Securing Patients Data
This cybersecurity case study will discuss a fictional business, Get Well Medical Center, and its medical identity theft security issue (Stealing patients’ data). I will focus on, Get Well Medical Center as a group clinic, currently one branch and in the future, it is possible to increase branches. Get Well Medical Center specializes in family medicine, general practice, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
Description of the problem
According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA Journal), cybersecurity in healthcare has been a global issue of concern. There has been an increase in cyber threats in the past decades, and many healthcare facilities are still struggling to secure patients and facility data from cybercriminals. For example, 115 million records were breached in 2015, 78 million data being stolen in a single attack. Also, according to the HIPAA Journal, in 2015, the number of stolen patient’s records was six times that of the previous five years combined. The situation was worse in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In these cases, identity theft uses phishing emails to obtain various patients’ health information (HIPAA Journal, 2020). Therefore, Get Well Medical Center needs to enhance its data security as it embraces information technological devices like computers and smartphones to store patient data and track patients’ progress. This research will cover the following topics:
Get Well Medical Center Identity Theft
Medical identity theft refers to using stolen patient medical information to access medical benefits like drugs, treatment, or insurance billing (Webb, 2007). The information may also be used for other purposes like ransomware delivery (Clifford, 2016). Furthermore, it could be sold in the black market for medical identity theft and can be used to commit fraud. Phishing is the most common attack preferred by criminals to obtain and access patient information from medical facilities.
Attacks and Threats
The main threats the Get Well Medical Centerfacility faces in medical identity theft is phishing. Other threats include threat actors and cybercriminals, insiders’ threat, and mishandling of patient medical private and sensitive information (Wickenhauser et al., 2018).
The adoption of information technology has increased many institutions’ which lead to an increase in data breach because of existence and exploitation of vulnerabilities that contribute in malicious activities and endangering personal, private, and sensitive data.
The recommended solution to identity theft in Get Well Medical Center facility could include embracing physical, administrative, and technical tactics to ensure the patient data is safe in the facility. The HIPAA provides the institutions with security safeguards that they must be considered and implemented so it can be compliant with HIPAA which will improve security posture tremendously. The safeguards ensure that the institution protects itself from possible threats (OCR & HHC, 2013). Also, steps must be taken by the users and health centers. Like two-factor authentication (2FA), it is the most effective way to counter phishing attacks (Imperva, 2020). Furthermore, as part of the recommendations, the organization should incorporate preventive measures like educating employees and train them through cybersecurity awareness programs and on security issues and emerging cybersecurity trends, consider employees’ background checking and screening regularly (Mancini, 2014). And also consider regular security audit (Petters, 2020).
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