Survey finds 4 in 5 U.S. physicians have been hit with a cyberattack

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | December 14, 2017
Cyber Security Health IT
HIPAA compliance alone is not cutting it
The vast majority of the 1,300 U.S. physicians recently surveyed by the American Medical Association and Accenture have experienced some form of a cyberattack.

The organizations are calling for the health care industry to increase cybersecurity support for medical practices in their communities.

Most of the physicians believe that it is vital to share personal health data outside the walls of their health system, but doing it safely has been the challenge. Eighty-three percent reported that HIPAA compliance alone is not adequate and that a more holistic approach is needed.
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“Keeping pace with the sophistication of cyberattacks demands that physicians strengthen their capabilities, build resilience and invest in new technologies to support a foundation of digital trust with patients," Dr. Kaveh Safavi, head of Accenture’s global health practice, said in a statement.

According to the survey, phishing, which involves stealing personal information via deceptive emails and websites, was the most common cyberattack. Fifty-five percent of the physicians reported experiencing this type of attack.

Computer viruses are the second most common — reported by 48 percent of the respondents. The physicians employed by medium and large practices were two times more likely to be attacked via phishing and computer viruses than small practices.

Almost two-thirds of those who were under a cyberattack, experienced up to four hours of downtime and about one-third of those in medium-sized practices experienced nearly a full day of downtime.

In order to solve this problem, AMA President Dr. David O. Barbe believes that more support is needed from the government, technology and medical sectors to help physicians create a proactive cybersecurity defense.

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