1 Out of 3 hospitals has a poorly secured website, according to the research of the Women in Cyber Security (WiCS). A quarter of the sites has no secure connection at all, meaning that the online data files filled in by patients are sent unencrypted.
WiCS researched the websites of 97 randomly picked hospitals and the results are frightful. A poorly secured hospital website can result in the leaking of a patients private data. The research was published by newsletter ‘Trouw’.
Computer security as a high priority
“That the security of the websites from so many hospitals are not well organised shows that the security issues are in all the vessels of the hospital”, according to Mary-Jo de Leeuw, Vice-President of WiCS. “A hospital, that has to do with so much sensitive information, should have its computer security as a high priority.”
You can recognise a secure website by a green lock icon at the top of the page and by the web address that is https and not http. This results in encrypted data which makes it more difficult for potential hackers to get in. This protection is mandatory if visitors are prompted for specific personal information such as a person’s religion or health.
Effective for action
The research of WiCS has already proven to be effective. In the short period of time the research was published a couple of hospitals such as the OLVG, Antonius hospital, Martini hospital and Admiraal de Ruyter hospital took action. Most responded with the news that they immediately updated their website or are in the development of a completely new website, which will have all the safety and security requirements.
Here you can read the original article published by ‘Trouw’ in Dutch