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Cyber Crime in Health Care is on the Rise

Cyber crime is not only hitting hospitals, it can affect office practices, too. Here's how you can be on the alert.

Cyber crime is not only hitting hospitals, it can affect office practices, too. By hacking into your practice software, cyber criminals steal both yours and your patients’ information including financial records, licensure, medication histories, home addresses, credit card information and more.

Recently, there have been several examples of hackers attempting to change payment account information in order to steal funds. In one example, they claimed they could no longer accept checks and required an EFT payment instead. In another example, they said they had switched banks and asked that funds be sent to a new account. In both cases, hackers were attempting to direct funds to fraudulent accounts. Once money is sent, it’s very difficult—if not impossible—to get it back.

It's important to have an increased level of scrutiny around any payment account changes within your practice—trust, but always verify first. Because the caller sounds informed and friendly, doesn’t mean they are a legitimate caller. Here are some things to look for:

Warning signs...

  • Creating a sense of urgency
  • A sudden change to an existing established process
  • Someone new or someone you don’t know is making the request

What to do…

  • Stop and consider the request. Does it make sense?
  • Verify the change with a phone call to the third party. (Do NOT verify the change via email, as it’s possible their email has been compromised.)

For additional information on the rise in cyber crime, watch Easiest Catch: Don’t Be Another Fish in the Dark Net (16 minutes).