Patients Might Be At Risk: Doctors Need Data Protection

  • Saad Qureshi
  • Apr-07-2016

Patients from around the world are under attack from a latest cyber threat known as “Ransomware”. An important aspect about the threat is that, it isn’t targeted directly on patients; instead ransomware victims are mainly doctors.  The attack is aided by exploiting sensitive data on Medical professional’s personal device. A recent study shows that about 75% physicians use more than one mobile device for official use, leading to high risks of cyber-attacks including identity theft, fraudulent funds transfer, data snooping and worst of all is ransomware.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Health care organizations are becoming profitable victims for cyber-criminals and hackers. Like any other professional, physicians use mobile apps like whatsapp, imo and other messengers to share medical records. However, various cyber-goons, intruders, snoopers and hackers are keen to steal such sensitive information. Once they have their hands on the confidential data, patients may become the victim of ransomware, and blackmailed for their confidential medical-information.

Mobile Threat Intelligence Report

After conducting a survey, well-known security firm “Skycure” has come up with Mobile Threat Intelligence Report. According to the report, majority of physicians are not adopting simple and essential security practices on their mobile devices, this includes simple pass code to unlock their device. Considering such irresponsible actions, if the devices are physically lost or stolen, it may lead to ransomware.

Now, if we talk about personal usage of devices by physicians, following are some important findings to consider from Mobile Threat Intelligence Report:

  • 99% doctors are using mobile devices as of 2015.
  • Number of doctors using more than one mobile device has risen from 28% since 2013.
  • 33% doctors use mobile devices for Whatsapp.
  • 65% doctors use mobile devices for SMS or Texting.
  • 43% doctors use mobile devices for picture messaging.


An official from Skycare security states that doctors shouldn’t be stopped from using mobile devices and apps. However, they should be educated and guided to use some essential encryption tools and security practices that may put an end to cyber attacks on medical organizations. In this way, both patients and doctors will be secured and protected from hackers and various cyber threats.

Patients Might Be At Risk Doctors Need Data Protection

Source: Ponemon Institute and ID Experts, Benchmark Study on Patient and Data Security

Saad Qureshi

Saad Qureshi


Saad Qureshi's Biography :

Saad is a privacy advocate by day and a Dota 2 player by night. He loves to share his knowledge, experience, and insights about internet freedom and online privacy. When he is not busy blogging about the latest trend in the tech world, he is engaged in killing noobs on Dota.