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In addition to the worry of comprising millions of patient health records, heavy fines are stacking up for cybersecurity breaches. (Photo: iStock)

If the health care industry was not yet sufficiently appreciative of the threats of cyberattacks, the $5.5 million penalty Advocate Health Care Network agreed to pay for violating data security measures gives hospitals, insurers and clinics another reason to get serious about securing their computer systems.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reached a settlement with Advocate, which failed to “conduct an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities” of its electronic protected health information (ePHI).

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