Tag: Josh Horwitz

The Latest Threat To Healthcare Data: COVID-19 Apps

By Josh Horwitz, COO, Enzoic.

Josh Horwitz

With vaccinations underway, it’s becoming possible to envision the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel; however, the post-COVID world will have some notable differences. One such example is the likely requirement of “immunity passports” to do any number of things: have elective surgery, attend college, or travel internationally.

The European Union, China, Israel and Japan are among the nations that have launched or plan to unveil such programs. In the U.S., states will be in charge of developing their programs with federal support as required. Given the partisan differences surrounding the pandemic response and economic recovery, this is likely to introduce numerous challenges in and of itself. But political concerns aside, the emergence of more coronavirus tracing apps and programs also brings some serious security challenges.

As PBS’ Laura Santhanam recently put it, “Unlike the physical [vaccination card used to track Yellow Fever], there are growing concerns about data privacy as documents verifying COVID-19 vaccination would exist and generally be accessed digitally.”  In fact, these concerns are so pressing that a new Forrester report includes the vulnerability of COVID-19 apps as one of the five major problems which could impede post-pandemic progress in 2021.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the chief vulnerabilities and what governments and businesses alike should be cognizant of as these apps become more mainstream.

For example, a doctor may require “Write” access in order to edit or add information pertinent to a patient’s immunity or reaction to the vaccine. However, this permission should be the exception rather than the norm as hackers could wreak havoc should they be able to manipulate data within these apps and programs.

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Cybersecurity During A Pandemic — And How Healthcare Workers Can Protect Themselves

By Josh Horwitz, COO, Enzoic.

Healthcare employees are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, in many cases working extended hours under extremely taxing circumstances in an effort to treat the growing number of infected patients. In this environment, it’s critical that everyone is cognizant of an unfortunate reality of our times: hackers are always looking for ways to capitalize on a crisis.

As Forbes’ Thomas Brewster put it, the last few weeks have seen “…an avalanche of digital threats piggybacking on the coronavirus pandemic,” and these are only likely to increase as the international community continues to grapple with the virus. With scams ranging the gamut from a coronavirus tracker that installs malware onto visitors’ devices to takeover of teleconferencing software to fraudulent company discounts or services related to the coronavirus, there is no shortage of ways bad actors are seeking to exploit consumers’ fear and confusion.

As such, it’s important that hospitals and healthcare institutions help employees safeguard their data and ensure they are cognizant of the increased security threats associated with the pandemic. Following are a few tips to consider:

In addition to the considerations outlined above, it’s also important that healthcare employees keep an eye on the evolving cybersecurity landscape as it relates to the pandemic. It’s likely that hackers will continue to find new ways to exploit the situation for their own nefarious purposes. As employees work diligently to combat coronavirus, it’s essential that hospitals remind them to keep their personal information safe.

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