Breached – Healthcare Data Breaches Cost $6 Billion a Year

Blog Author: Phillip Long

In today’s environment, the core of any security strategy needs to shift from breach prevention to breach acceptance.” – Gemalto, data security firm

Times they are a changing when you see a prominent security firm relenting to the fact that breaches are unstoppable. This is not only true in theory and in speculation by way of looking at the possibilities of the future; but in hard data back to reality of today. This reality is true for almost every organization but so much so for the Healthcare Industry. Why is that? The main reason is that health care records have many opportunities to be exploited. Patient records or estimated to be worth 50 times what a credit card number is worth on the black market.

The reality of life is that opportunistic entrepreneurship is not limited to legitimate businesses and ethical business owners. Even bad guys are looking for the next big thing, sadly and they have found it in the Healthcare Industry.

Here are are two of the most important things for every Healthcare Provider to do to not only mitigate their risk but also mitigate their liability.

  1. Train yourself and your staff on security. A recent IBM study revealed that 95% of all data breaches were caused by people. I’m sure that’s no shock to anyone but from my observations, the market certainly does not spend much any effort in trying to mitigate this risk at its source. Knowledge is power.
  1. Perform a Yearly Security Assessment. Not only will this help better protect your patient data, but it will also help in the event that there is a breach. Both, training staff and yearly risk assessments are actually required by Health and Human Services.

Here are a few highlights from the Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data by Ponemon Institute.

  • Criminal attacks are now the number one cause of security breaches in healthcare, increasing 125% since 2010.
  • In the last two years, 94% of healthcare organizations have experienced a data breach, with 40% reporting at least five breaches.
  • In 2015, over 93 million health records were exposed in three of the largest data breaches in history.

The bottom line is that the Healthcare Industry has a big red target on its back. Concerned CEOs, board members and patients are asking more questions about the implications of data breach and the cost associated.

To answer some of those questions here is a great info graphic that breaks down the impact data breaches are having on the US Healthcare Industry.

Breached: A costly threat to healthcare

Source: Royal Jay