Over 27 million affected by healthcare data breaches last year

stethoscope on laptop

Healthcare data breaches affected over 27 million people in the US last year, with the number of records breached having more than doubled compared to 2018. Indeed the total number of records breached has more than doubled each year, from 4.7M in 2017 to 11.5M in 2018, and to 27.5M in 2019.

Cloud security company Bitglass has released its latest healthcare breach report analyzing data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Around 24 million people were affected by healthcare breaches due to hacking and IT incidents last year. This category was followed by unauthorized access or disclosure, which affected 2.5 million people.

The cost per breached record in healthcare was $429 in 2019, with 27.5 million records exposed, data breaches cost healthcare organizations a total of $11.8 billion.

Texas suffered the most healthcare breaches in 2019 with 47 incidents, nearly twice the number of California, which came in second place at 25. Breaches due to lost or stolen devices has consistently seen the biggest annual decrease over the past few years, dropping from 148 in 2014 to 42 in 2019.

"Last year, 'Hacking and IT Incidents' was the top cause of breaches in healthcare, accounting for more than 60 percent of all data leakage," says Anurag Kahol, CTO of Bitglass. "This is not particularly surprising given the fact that threat actors are maturing their capabilities and adapting to security measures organizations put in place, like multi-factor authentication. Healthcare databases are heavily targeted by cybercriminals as they hold a wealth of sensitive information like medical histories, Social Security numbers, personal financial data, and more. This means that healthcare firms must employ the appropriate technologies and cybersecurity best practices to ensure all data within their IT systems is secure around the clocks."

You can get the full report from the Bitglass site.

Image credit: scanrail/depositphotos.com

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