The modern-day criminal is no longer a person dressed in all black clothing, wearing a face mask and intruding on a person's private home. Although these instances still occur, technology has evolved in ways that allow theft to occur with the click of a mouse. Hackers are the iconic criminal of the present but what's alarming is that they hide behind a computer. When they strike, they're still robbing people of valuables and even worse, sense of security, but what's more is that there is oftentimes no way to pin a face to the crime. Daunting facts could mean that it may be time for industries experimenting with digitization to get back to the reliability and security of print documentation.
Data breaches have skyrocketed since hospitals began digitizing patient care. Since 2009, around the time of deployment of electronic health records, nearly 30 million patients have had private health information compromised, according to Red Spin. Seven million records were lost in 2013, a 137 percent increase from the previous year. The research demonstrates that it only takes a few incidences to result in a lot of damage. Nearly 85 percent of the total records breached in 2013 were a result of 5 incidences.
Over 11 million records have been exposed as a result of 447 data breaches since the start of 2014, according to a report conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center. Data from the 89-page report draws attention to the fact that the incidences are widespread across all verticals and have affected large and small organizations. It also demonstrates that cybercriminals are after a range of data, anything from online shopping information to health records. They are becoming craftier at finding value in a range of data but are also looking to monetize it.
Cybercriminals are expanding the ways they are passing through firewalls and antivirus programs. But where they have traditionally leaked funds from a bank account or sold personal identities on the black market, they are using hostage-situation strategies to get money directly from the owner or supervisor of the information, according to the New York Times. Hackers can encrypt data that belongs to someone else and unlock it at their digression, oftentimes when a fee is paid. Essentially the computer holding the database is the victim rather than individual records or accounts.
But these cybercriminals have also figured out how to cover their tracks by using a third party to launch their attack from. A professor from George Washington University told the source that this makes it difficult to find out where the source of the attack is located and therefore officials might take a swing and accidentally capture someone who is not the criminal.
"It is kind of like a blindfolded partygoer trying to hit a pinata with a baseball bat," Professor Orin Kerr told the news provider. "He might hit the pinata but he might hit Aunt Sally, who happens to be standing nearby."
Printed Peace of Mind
The article alludes to law enforcement as a means of hampering these crimes. But bills can take years to become laws from the moment of conception to passing through the senate and house. In the mean time, old-school methods are available to provide secure document-keeping.
Rather than be another statistic, organizations like hospitals can save money that would be spent on the deployment of electronic health records and continue to rely on having the records safely stored within the vicinity of their own walls.