Security experts warn the public that third-party health apps are susceptible to outside compromise, as ransomware becomes a billion-dollar industry…
Security researchers are again sounding the alarm about digital privacy. This time, it’s third-party health apps that pull patient data from electronic health record systems. These services are vulnerable to hacks, according to a new report. Additionally, a blockchain analysis by the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network identified over $5.2 billion in outgoing bitcoin transactions, potentially tied to ransomware payments.
Report Finds Third-Party Health Apps are Vulnerable to Hacks as Ransomware becomes a Billion-Dollar Market
Third-party health apps pose a significant risk because they essentially don’t have the same protections as electronic health records. Those documents are housed at health centers and subject to the federal privacy law HIPAA, making them well-protected. However, when consumers provide their individual consent, giving permission to third-party health apps to access their personal information, those protections largely go away.
Meanwhile, FinCEN noticed that the number of ransomware-related SARs filed monthly between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021, has grown rapidly, with 635 SARs filed and 458 transactions reported during that time. Interestingly, the number represents a growth of 30% from the total of 487 SARs filed in the entirety of 2020.
So, it should come as no surprise that giving third-party health apps permission to access personal information means putting that very sensitive data in jeopardy of being exploited. Moreover, ransomware attacks and payments appear to continually rise.