Almost 90% of health care providers hacked in last two years

Cyber attackers have increasingly turned their attention to health care providers, of which nearly 90-percent were hacked over the course of the last two years. The growing number of cyber attacks against the health care industry is said to cost $6 billion annually, marking a trend where hackers shift focus from financial institutions and retailers to those with medical records. All in all, these attacks are said to have doubled in the United States over the last half decade.

The information comes from Bloomberg, which says that of the nearly 90-percent of US health care providers that were breached over the last two years, half of those hacks (or some variety of data breaches) were of a criminal nature. The average cost of a cyber attack against a hospital over the past half decade is $2.1 million.

Back in February, as an example, Anthem insurance company — the second largest health care insurance provider in the US — was hacked and potentially millions of customers had their data compromised. That data grab led to phishing attacks against the victims.

While some companies are said to have increased their protections in light of the risks, others continue to be unprepared for any "sophisticated" cyber attacks that might come their way. As a result, data thieves are able to sell the information found in medical records to those who will use them to steal an identity or ruin someone's credit.

SOURCE: Bloomberg