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New research finds hospitals are easy targets for phishing attacks

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New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston finds hospital employees are extremely vulnerable to phishing attacks. The studyhighlights just how effective phishing remains as a tactic—the need for defense against and awareness of email scams is more critical than ever.

The research was a multi-center exercise that looked at results of phishing simulations at six anonymous healthcare facilities in the US. Research coordinators ran phishing simulations for close to seven years and analyzed click rates for more than 2.9 million simulated emails.Results revealed that 422,052 (14.2 percent) of phishing emails were clicked, which is a rate of one in seven.

Patient data at risk

Security professionals are acutely aware of the intense scrutiny placed on patient data and the regulatory requirements around HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This new research on phishing in healthcare puts a spotlight on the vulnerability of this kind of data.

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