FBI Urges Healthcare Providers to Boost Their Online Security

By   |  April 28, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has recently issued a warning to healthcare providers that they must increase their medical websites' cybersecurity systems in order to prevent patients' private records from falling into the wrong hands.

The preemptive notice, which was distributed by the FBI to healthcare providers earlier this month and was obtained by Reuters, warns that "the healthcare industry is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely."

The notice, which is a private industry notification, also urged recipients to report suspicious or criminal online activity to local FBI bureaus or the agency's 24/7 Cyber Watch.

Reports released over the past several years regarding online security in the medical field have noted a serious need for healthcare systems to boost their security. Electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) contain data that is extremely valuable to hackers, as it can be used to illegally obtain prescriptions for controlled substances and access a patient's bank accounts, along with other sensitive information.

The FBI's notification also reportedly cites a recent report conducted by the SANS Institute (SANS stands for SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security), a non-profit organization that trains cybersecurity professionals. The SANS report warns that the healthcare industry is under-prepared in combating the dangers posed by the growing occurrence of cyber threats and attacks.

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SecureForms provide a practice with the option of communicating with visitors using a Contact Form, where site visitors and patients can enter their contact information along with a message. In accordance with HIPAA requirements, the visitor will be able to indicate whether they want to receive a reply via traditional email, or if they prefer secure communication.

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