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Hospitals: 0, Hackers: 327


In April 2016, we covered a short list of hospitals that underwent a cyber attack that not only put their patient data at risk, but also the care of their patients.

Later added to the list, Anthem, Premera BlueCross, 21st Century Oncology, Radiology Regional Center, California Correctional Health Care Services, Mercy Health Partners, and Banner Health suffered similar fates in 2016.

A recent study conducted by Keeper Security recently published a list of common passwords used nationwide.  Despite the cyber-barrage that affected millions in 2016 – the attacks seemed to not bother or at least worry other healthcare systems that were eventually hit later on in the year.  Passwords as easy as “123456”, “qwerty”, and “password” are still being used in professional fields – an alarming discovery considering the correlation between patient privacy and patient security.

According to the HIPAA Journal, at the half year mark in 2016, 142 data breaches had been reported by June 2016. 60% of the records exposed were due to hacking.

The Department of Homeland Security suggests the following tips:

  • Never click on links in emails.
    Similarly, work emails should never be used for personal use such as signing up for retail lists.  Work and professional emails should be kept strictly work related.
  • Never open attachments
    Retialers and newsletters do not typically send attachments, the DHS suggests calling the source and asking if their recent email included an attachment to determine if it is safe to open.
  • More advice and helpful tips can be found here.


Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review
Keeper Security
Modern Healthcare//Modern Healthcare
Identity Force//Identity Force
HIPAA Journal
Department of Homeland Security