Approov’s Resolution for the New Year is Securing your Healthcare Data

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Data breaches involving the healthcare industry can have serious consequences, as they can compromise sensitive and personal information such as medical records, financial data, and personal identification numbers. Mobile apps are increasingly being used in the healthcare industry to provide services such as telemedicine, appointment scheduling, and electronic health records, and these apps can also be vulnerable to data breaches.

One potential source of data breaches involving healthcare mobile apps is insecure application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs are used to facilitate communication and data exchange between different systems and applications, and they can provide a point of entry for attackers to access sensitive data. If APIs are not properly secured, attackers can exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to sensitive information.

There have been several instances of data breaches involving healthcare mobile apps and APIs. In 2018, a data breach at the healthcare technology company AccuDoc exposed the personal information of over 3 million patients. The breach was caused by an insecure API that was used to access patient data.

Another example is the 2015 data breach at the healthcare provider Anthem, which affected over 78 million patients. The breach was caused by an attacker who accessed the company's systems through a poorly secured API.

In 2014, Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) emerged as an interoperability standard for electronic exchange of healthcare information enabling health IT developers to more quickly and easily build applications for electronic healthcare record (EHR) systems to exchange and retrieve data faster from applications. This well-designed healthcare API is being widely adopted, but is it any more secure

To prevent data breaches involving APIs, it is important for mobile app developers to follow best practices for API security. This includes implementing strong authentication and authorization measures, using secure protocols and encryption, and regularly testing and updating APIs to identify and fix vulnerabilities.

Another potential source of data breaches in the healthcare industry is the use of insecure certificates. Certificates are used to establish trust and secure communication between different systems, and they can be vulnerable to attack if they are not properly secured.

For example, in 2015, it was reported that a hacker exploited a vulnerability in a certificate used by the healthcare provider Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to access the personal and financial information of over 10 million patients. The hacker was able to access the company's systems by using a forged certificate to impersonate a trusted entity.

To prevent data breaches involving certificates, it is important for mobile app developers to follow best practices for certificate management. This includes using strong and secure certificates, regularly updating and rotating certificates, and implementing proper certificate validation processes.

Overall, data breaches involving the healthcare industry and mobile apps can have serious consequences, and it is important for developers to implement robust security measures to protect sensitive data. This includes properly securing APIs and certificates, as well as following other best practices for mobile app security.