Healthcare Data Breaches on the Rise
It is no secret that cyber thieves love to target the healthcare industry. Recent reports show that healthcare is now the most heavily attacked field, even above the highly reported large retailer breaches as well as breaches within the financial services sector. Described as the year of the healthcare data breach, 2016 saw 376 healthcare data breaches, with 1 in 3 Americans affected – that is approximately 16 million records stolen with a price tag of $5.6 billion in damages.
With so many pieces of data to choose from, cyber thieves can sell off bits of compromised records for multiple fraudulent acts including credit card fraud, insurance fraud and identity theft. The Ponemon Institute reports that in 2016, the average cost per breached consumer record was $141. That number skyrocketed to $380 per record for healthcare organizations.
Why do hackers breach healthcare systems? To find valuable data that can be resold on the black market – especially payment data. As in the multi-million-dollar Anthem and Target data breaches, malware was the culprit and is responsible for a large percentage of point-of-sale (POS) breaches – to the tune of 5 malware attacks every second or 170 million each year.