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Anatomy Of A Healthcare Data Breach

The statistics on healthcare data breaches is growing increasingly troublesome. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, healthcare data breaches accounted for 44 percent of all breach- es in 2013—the first time the healthcare sector topped this list. Perhaps the main reason for such a large proportion is because personal health information (PHI) is worth roughly 50 times more than credit card or Social Security numbers. The most profitable type of fraud stemming from identity theft is now Medicare fraud. The annual cost of health data breaches estimated at $5.6 Billion.

One in 10 Americans has been affected by a large health data breach, according to the HHS. Employee negligence is considered the biggest security risk based on the Ponemon Institute’s Fourth Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security. Criminal attacks have risen 100 percent since the first study was released in 2010. What is even more surprising is that many healthcare organizations fail to detect these attacks and often remain compromised, according to a 2013 SAS-Norse study. Upgrades, enhancements, and overhauls of IT systems can open the door for data breaches if security issues aren’t addressed in tandem.