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Cyber Liability / Data Breach Threat to Healthcare Professionals


cyber-liabilityHealthcare professionals are increasingly vulnerable to cyber hacking, especially now that they are keeping electronic medical records, engaging in telemedicine, transmitting information by email formerly transmitted face-to-face, and creating sophisticated websites.

Exposures include e-theft, destruction of patient data, libel and slander, e-vandalism, patent infringement, denial of services, and other growing threats.

Threats from data breaches come from unexpected places, and are all-encompassing

  • Threats from outside the office-Including hacks from criminals and former employees with access to company information.
  • Threats from inside the office-Including employees, management, independent contractors, and interns who have access to sensitive patient data.
  • Third Party-Including suppliers, vendors, host providers, and outsourced IT organizations or persons.

Each of these threats can lead to claims for breach of privacy, identity theft, infringement of intellectual property rights and inappropriate billing, among others.

To protect against cyber liability threats, healthcare professionals are investing in Cyber Liability Insurance. This policy combines third party (cyber liability) and first party (cyber crime expense) coverages into one policy, and provides risk management support to reduce the risk of cyber claims.

Medical and dental offices, regardless of their size, their specialty or their location need to ask themselves whether they need cyber liability insurance. Medical and dental offices are especially vulnerable to a cyber loss because they deal with personal, financial, and health-related information. Because this information is usually kept for a long period of time, the dental office exposure is amplified. Healthcare data breaches are on the rise, robbing the patient of their privacy, exacerbating medical identity theft, and costing the healthcare
industry billions of dollars annually.

What is Cyber Liability insurance?

The generic term “Cyber Liability” insurance addresses risks associated with confidential information or data in its various forms, either digital or paper.

Coverage includes:

  • Notification Costs
  • Credit monitoring costs (typically $20-$30 per record)
  • Defense costs
  • Regulatory Fines and penalties
  • Crisis coverage/public relations for damaged reputations

Data breaches can happen to anyone and occur frequently. They are typically caused by:

  • Lost or stolen laptops, media, back-up tapes and thumb drives
  • Improper disposal of personal records
  • Computer hacking
  • Computer viruses
  • Employee misuse

Privacy coverage is generally excluded by office property and liability, business interruption and
malpractice insurance policies.

The universe of potential plaintiffs is overwhelming when one considers the number of people and organizations on the internet.

Please call us for more information on cyber liability insurance for your practice. Coverage is expanding as the insurance industry achieves a better understanding of cyber losses.


Click here to read more about the most recent data breach, where Community Health Systems was hacked

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