COVID-19 , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Governance & Risk Management

How COVID-19 Keeps Fueling New Security, Privacy Threats

Attorney Erik Weinick on Pop-Up Testing Facilities, Insider Threats and Cybercrime
Erik Weinick, partner, Otterbourg P.C.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to fuel new opportunities for cybercriminals, malicious insiders and other adversaries who are posing new security threats to the privacy of patient health data, says attorney Erik Weinick of law firm Otterbourg P.C.

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Those threats and risks involve a wide range of entities, including healthcare startups, such as pop-up COVID-19 testing facilities, as well as schools and workplaces that are collecting student and employee vaccine-status and related health information, says Weinick, who also serves on the U.S. Secret Service's New York field office's Cyber Fraud Task Force Steering Committee.

"All of that might not be as secure as it might be in a hospital or traditional physician setting," Weinick says during a video interview conducted during the recent ISMG 2022 Healthcare Security Summit in New York.

"We see a flood of new employees in the healthcare space that perhaps haven't been fully vetted or are much more transient than they were before," he says.

As these employees move on to other jobs, they may “leave open doors behind them” to steal patient information and monetize it. In addition, he says, nation-state actors are determined to disrupt and discredit the U.S. healthcare system.

"There are threats everywhere we turn," he adds.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Weinick also discusses:

  • Top threats involving insiders, nation-state actors, hacktivists and cybercriminals;
  • Latest ransomware trends in healthcare;
  • Steps healthcare entities can take to address growing cyberthreats and risks.

Weinick, co-founder of Otterbourg P.C.'s privacy and cybersecurity practice, also focuses on bankruptcy, commercial torts, defamation/slander, education, employment and labor, insurance and regulatory issues. As a member of the Cyber Fraud Task Force Steering Committee, he supports the U.S. Secret Service's specialized cadre of agents and analysts, formed in 2020 to prevent, detect and mitigate complex cyber-enabled financial crimes.

About the Author

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Executive Editor, HealthcareInfoSecurity, ISMG

McGee is executive editor of Information Security Media Group's media site. She has about 30 years of IT journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues for more than 15 years. Before joining ISMG in 2012, she was a reporter at InformationWeek magazine and news site and played a lead role in the launch of InformationWeek's healthcare IT media site.

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