New system finds stolen health data on the Dark Web

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With health data breaches reaching epidemic proportions, healthcare organizations are resigning themselves to the fact that losing sensitive data to hackers is inevitable. It’s no longer a question of if they will become victims of data theft, but when it will happen.

A popular destination for such data is the Dark Web, the nefarious online marketplace where it is bought and sold. However, the problem is that the average breach takes more than 200 days to discover—long after the damage has occurred.

But, one vendor claims they can shorten detection times from months to just hours and notify organizations when their data shows up on the Dark Web. Baltimore-based Terbium Labs claims to have the world’s first fully private, fully automated data intelligence system—called Matchlight—that instantly locates stolen data on the Dark Web as soon as it appears.

“Matchlight knows the instant your information appears some place it shouldn’t,” declares the Terbium Labs website. “We create private fingerprints of your sensitive data, allowing us to monitor for breaches securely. Matchlight’s automated system constantly scans the Dark Web allowing us to quickly alert you when and where your data appears so you can take action.”

Danny Rogers, co-founder and CEO of Terbium Labs, contends that no matter what organizations do their data is always at risk from motivated cyber criminals, especially in the healthcare industry where there is so much valuable data floating around.

“If you take somebody’s healthcare record, you have a lot of information about them that can be exploited, which is why we tend to see them sold at a much higher premium.”

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The problem is that many healthcare organizations are so resource-limited in terms of defensive measures “that you just have to assume the data is going to leak and you have to plan accordingly,” says Rogers. “If you can’t stop everything, the next best thing is quick and quiet detection. In order to mitigate the damage due to a data breach, you really want to find out about it as quickly as possible and take steps to remediate it.”

Rogers describes his company’s Matchlight solution as a Dark Web search engine that is based on a data fingerprinting technique in which their customers don’t actually have to reveal their information in order for Terbium Labs to search on their behalf. With a one-way secure data signature, Terbium Labs is able to search for fingerprint matches indicating a data breach by leveraging essentially a web crawler.

“We can monitor this part of the Internet for specific client data, even if that data is considered sensitive or regulated,” adds Rogers. “We can monitor for HIPAA-protected information in a way that we don’t ever have to possess patient data.”

When a match occurs, their customers receive an immediate notification letting them know the instant pieces of their data show up on the Dark Web, as well as providing a forensics report to help with remediation. “Our job is to help you find out about that problem before anyone else does and kick off that remediation process early," he adds.

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