3.7 million users may be affected in a massive breach of the services of Banner Health, a healthcare organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. The affected users received mail notification by the company.
The Banner Health Security Breach
The healthcare firms notified that the attackers targeted computers containing data for credit card payments. The data was extracted from payments on food and beverage outlets. A huge amount of customer information was stolen in the security breach. Information like; names, social security numbers, birthdates, healthcare plans, and others. It’s possible that even more information than that was stolen. The healthcare company hired a cyber-security firm to investigate the data breach. They’re also upgrading their security systems. Not all users of Banner Health were affected in the breach, but still, 3.7 is a huge number. It is also stated that information regarding medical payments wasn’t stolen in the hack. The attack is one of the biggest leaks of digital patient information in healthcare history.
Banner Health is offering a one-year long membership of a monitoring service for patients affected by the attack.
More about Banner Health
The Phoenix-based healthcare organization operates 23 hospitals. They provide emergency care, cancer treatment, rehab centers, pharmacies and other healthcare services. Banner Health is also the largest employer in the state of Arizona, with 39,000 employees.
Cyber Attacks on healthcare
Cyber-attacks are only increasing, and healthcare firms are a popular target for cyber-criminals. Ransomware attacks are a favorite among hackers, as hospitals and healthcare clinics rarely spend a lot of money on cyber safety. The sad reality is that most healthcare centers would prefer to pay the ransom as quickly as they can, so the normal functioning of the hospital can be resumed. Making money out of cyber-crime is always wrong, but the targeting of hospitals is especially despicable. A disruption in a hospital’s workings can lead to a lot of bad consequences. If patient data gets damaged in a cyber-attack, that may lead to wrong medication. This explains why healthcare centers prefer to pay the hackers quickly and get back to work. Sadly, it’s unlikely that the attacks on healthcare centers would decrease in the near future.
It’s logical that hackers would prefer such targets. It’s a quick cash grab, and it doesn’t require that much hacking prowess. After all, a business that doesn’t deal with anything so urgent as healthcare would prefer to remove ransomware/malware threats using other, more secure methods like hiring a security firm to clear out the infection.