The COVID-19 pandemic has made many systems and situations more vulnerable to hackers and nefarious thieves. This news came to us from the Indy Star in their article, “Cyber company obtains data from 750,000 Hoosiers in attack on Indiana COVID tracing survey.”

With the ongoing growth in technology, it is no surprise that the growth of cyber security issues are parallel, but their focus has shifted. The effort to share data in a timely manner for public health reasons has made vulnerable new data in new ways. Hackers have an increased interest in personal data found in health records.

Most industries are not required to include detailed information — the number of records compromised and the type of information that may have been stolen — in their breach notifications. And most organizations don’t. The healthcare industry is required to report fully on all breaches of 500 individuals or more.

Hackers are also finding new ways to exert pressure on their victims to pay by bringing whole IT systems to a halt, or stealing sensitive data and threatening to publish it online.

Melody K. Smith

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