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How The Dark Web Can Hurt Your Medical Practice

How The Dark Web Can Hurt Your Medical Practice

It sounds like something straight out of the box office; a cybercriminal is out to get you and your data. Yet it might be more real than you anticipate.

Information is the new currency. As long as you’re producing data, there will be someone who wants it for nefarious reasons.

There are three parts to the web as we know it. We use the Clear Web every day. This is what we use to check email or surf the web. When you buy something from Amazon, or do a search on Google, you’re using the Clear Web.

Yet the vast amount of information on the web is hidden from view. This is the Deep Web. It contains things like membership logins, patient portals, and other web pages that cannot be searched by search engines. This is where you store your medical records, your financial records, and your information databases.

Most of the Deep Web is legitimate. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find the Dark Web, a place where illegal happenings occur and give way to the black market. And as you can imagine, there’s quite a market for the information that resides here. And the risks are only going to increase as we store and connect more data in the Deep Web. 

Why Healthcare Is More Vulnerable

When hackers surf the Deep Web looking for potential profits, they are looking for something that’s highly sellable; something criminals want. Financial data is easy to come by, and easy to sell. Yet it’s also quickly compromised. Patient data is more identity driven, and can take weeks, even months to realize it’s been compromised. That means it’s more valuable to criminals, and more lucrative as a business model. That puts patient data at more risk.

Why Protect The Deep Web

In healthcare, it’s crucial to protect privacy. And it starts with creating safe systems from the get-go. This is where cybersecurity professionals can help. Most practices don’t have cyber professionals on staff; this can be your downfall. By hiring someone well versed in cybersecurity, you can rest assured they are using the most updated scanning tools and techniques essential to heightened protection. The only way to stay safe is to understand it well enough you can thwart the activity before it occurs.

What Can Be Done To Protect Patients

It’s not just about using cyber professionals to stay safe. You also have to work on education programs for both your staff and your patients as well. Many people have no idea the Dark Web exists. Talking about the ramifications of the buying and selling that happens on the Dark Web may make people more aware of the potential dangers that exist. 

The National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center states, “Cybersecurity is a global problem, and we should all be working together to create an army of the good to win against the army of the bad. The more robust we can make the community, the more ammunition we have.”

That sums up how we should approach the security of tomorrow. If you take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to protecting your data, we’ll create a safer, more user-friendly structure overall.

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