While data breaches certainly are not a new phenomenon, there is a persistent and growing threat of healthcare breaches. And while 2014 was a great year for cybercriminals targeting U.S. consumers, 2015 may be even better for hackers.
Experian produced its second annual Data Breach Industry Forecast this month showing that the potential cost of breaches for the healthcare industry could be as much as $5.6 billion annually. The report claims that the risk of experiencing a data breach is higher than ever citing the “consistently high value of healthcare data on the black market.”
Hackers already are big fans of payment breaches and cloud data, and many healthcare providers are already utilizing both of these potential vulnerabilities. The Identity Theft Resource Center stated that 42% of breaches reported this year have occurred in the healthcare sector! As the healthcare industry expands (via electronic health records) the number of access points to Protected Health Information and furthers the adoption of wearable wellness technology, patients will become attractive targets to criminals. More pressure than ever is going to be placed on healthcare executives to ensure data is secure as patients demand for remedies increases.
Healthcare reform has mandated that medical providers “become more electronic” at such a fast rate that the security of patient data is truly compromised. And criminals know it! “Many doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals may not have enough resources to safeguard their patients’ PHI,” confirmed the Experian report. Michael Bruemmer with Experian correctly stated that “accessibility has trumped security.”
The Experian report can be found here.
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