When you think of hackers, you probably imagine the panic that would ensue if one obtained your credit card information or that of your clients. So you might be surprised to learn that financial information is not actually the top-selling item on the digital black market.
That’s not to say that hackers don’t go after credit card numbers or bank account information. They do. But the hottest thing lately is actually medical records. A Social Security number will net a hacker a measly 15 dollars on the dark web, but a complete medical record might go for 60 dollars or so. And while a stolen credit card is usually detected quickly, it might take years for someone to realize their medical records were stolen.
Why? Just think about the information contained in a medical record: You provide your name, birth date, address, insurance information, billing information, Social Security number, and perhaps even more. That’s everything a fraudster needs to steal an identity, and stolen identities are worth far more than a single credit card or bank account. Con artists create fake identities to file phony tax returns (and claim the refund), purchase medical equipment or obtain drugs, take out loans in someone else’s name, and more.
Medical providers can also be much easier to hack than, say, a bank. Doctor’s offices and even hospitals are more focused on providing the best technology to treat their patients’ medical concerns, and aren’t always investing in information technology (IT) as they should. So in short, medical records are far more valuable on the black market, and they’re also easier to obtain than other types of data.
Luckily, companies that deal with medical records are catching onto this popular scam, and are taking steps to secure records. For more information on keeping your network and client data secure, call us at 888-RING-MY-TECH. We can help you protect yourself from a breach, and institute a response measure in the event a threat does occur.