Healthcare data breaches: criminal attacks leading cause


The healthcare industry is experiencing a surge in data breaches, security incidents, and criminal attacks, exposing millions of patients and their medical records, according to the Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data, produced by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by ID Experts.

The study reveals that criminal attacks in healthcare are up 125 percent since 2010 and are now the leading cause of data breach. The findings also show that most healthcare organizations are still unprepared to address this rapidly changing cyber threat environment and lack the resources and processes to protect patient data. According to the FBI, criminals are targeting the information-rich healthcare sector because individuals’ personal information, credit information, and protected health information (PHI) are accessible in one place, which translates into a high return when monetized and sold.

“We are seeing a shift in the causes of data breaches in the healthcare industry, with a significant increase in criminal attacks. While employee negligence and lost/stolen devices continue to be primary causes of data breaches, criminal attacks are now the number-one cause,” said Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “Since first conducting this study, healthcare providers are starting to make investments to protect patient information, which need to keep pace with the growing cyber threats.”

healthcare, Ponemon Institute, ID Experts, data breaches