As reported recently on the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) website, the FBI released an alert warning healthcare providers of a high level of risk for data security and cyber attacks as adoption of electronic health records accelerates:

“In a private industry notification (PIN) dated April 8, the bureau stated that the move away from paper records ‘will create an influx of new EHR coupled with more medical devices being connected to the Internet, generating a rich new environment for criminals to exploit.’ The FBI highlighted as a crucial date January 2015, which is the deadline for EHR adoption by health professionals and acute-care hospitals that are participating in a federal incentive program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.”

In its alert, the FBI said that because the healthcare industry is not as “resilient to cyber intrusions [as] the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely.” While this assessment is similar to that noted in the recent Verizon cybersecurity report, the FBI cites more-worrisome evidence that the industry is already suffering from significant breaches.