Buyers and sellers on the digital underground are trading healthcare records databases for as much as $200,000, according to a report from Intel Security. And that’s at a discount.

Cybercriminals are selling databases of stolen medical records at a discount perhaps due to a glut of pilfered patient information available on underground web markets, according to a report from Intel Security.

While the report, released Wednesday, underscores the demand for stolen medical records, it also shows how easy it is for criminals to obtain hacked patient information. Medical records, after all, provide digital thieves with a roadmap for stealing someone’s identity by including a range of sensitive information that’s impossible to change, such as their family medical history.

The research should also serve as a warning for medical providers to better secure patient data and defend their systems against cyberattacks, say experts. One way to keep criminals from getting access to sensitive medical records is to strengthen authentication systems that protect medical records, said Michael Kaiser, chief executive of the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

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October 26, 2016 By Jeff Stone, Christian Science Monitor