Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Medical ID Theft Revisited

Back in February, we again sounded the alarm about Medical Identity Theft:

"Most identity theft in the United States is medical-related ... In 2012 alone, medical identity theft increased by nearly 25 percent, affecting 1.85 million Americans"

And things haven't really improved since then.

So what's the big draw for hackers looking to steal your records?

How about $50 a pop? Multiply that over thousands - or tens of thousands - of unsuspecting victims, and you've got quite the successful business model.

On the other hand, there may are some common sense ways to protect yourself from this risk (or at least mitigate it). A security consultant writing at LinkedIn offers some pointers for healthcare providers - might be a good idea to see if yours is taking the threat seriously:

■ Encryption. This seems pretty obvious, but it's also a pain (and we're all familiar with the ubiquitous sticky notes hanging from monitors).

■ Biometrics. This is even better, but of course it's also more expensive. On the other hand, higher demand may force prices down, so this may be the future.

Go read the whole thing - it's a quick read, and pretty informative.
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