Its seems like almost every month the new reports of a new data breach affecting millions of people. The healthcare industry is a prime target for hackers and new findings from a study published in the JAMA Network reveal that over an eight-year span, healthcare organizations reported 2,149 data breaches affecting 176.4 million records!
It’s a pretty troubling revelation and one that could place everyone from healthcare providers to insurers in jeopardy. With the healthcare industry having made the shift over to electronic records, the potential for data breaches is ever-present.
The authors of the study looked at every data breach between 2010 and 2017 compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. Perhaps one of the most shocking finds in the study is aside from 2015, the data breach tally increased every year, topping off at 344 in 2017. It would be naive to believe that this trend isn’t likely to continue in 2018 and beyond, especially now that more practices are moving toward EMRs.
The data breaches found in the study were no small potatoes either. The size of the breaches ranged in size from 500 to 78.8 million patient records. Let that number sink in for a second; that’s 78.8 million patient records!
Why are patient records targeted?
Patient Health records can fetch a pretty penny on the dark web, and sell for between $300 and $400. To give you some comparison, stolen credit card information only sells for a few bucks. All of this means that hackers are going to continue their hardest to keep trying to steal health records. A poor IT defense might as well be an open invitation saying “Come on in and take what you want.”
Patient records can sell between $300 and $400 on the dark web
The study reported that healthcare providers were the main target, accounting for 70 percent of all data breaches totaling 1,503 data breaches and putting 37.1 million records at risk.
Health plans made up 63 percent of the data breach pie and totaled 278 data breaches with 110.4 million records being exposed. An eye-popping 139.9 million records or 80 percent, were stolen from network servers.
The question you should be asking is: What’s being done to protect my company and clients?
It’s federal law that healthcare organizations that handle protected health information report data breaches of a certain size, but of course, not every data breach gets reported. This raises not only legal, but ethical implications for healthcare providers. Relying on just a cookie-cutter IT service, or a one-man show may not be enough the next time a massive data breach happens. In fact, teaming up with a Professional IT Management firm can reduce the risk of a breach greatly
There’s no doubt that healthcare and IT are more intertwined than ever, and staying current on the latest news and ways to combat future data breaches is a prime objective of Level4 IT. Can you say the same for your IT provider?
You can read the original article here: HealthCare Data Breach