Historically, data breaches in the healthcare sector have most commonly been attributed to employee negligence and the loss and theft of unencrypted devices.
Now, however, a study shows that cyber attacks have become the number one cause of data loss in the sector, underlining the value of medical records for fraudsters and other criminals.
According to the Ponemon Institute, cyber attacks in healthcare have increased 125 per cent since 2010 and currently account for almost 45 per cent of the sector’s recorded data breaches.
What’s more, the real figure might be even higher, with half of all healthcare providers admitting to having “little or no confidence” in their ability to detect every threat to their patients’ records.
The Ponemon Institute estimated that data breaches cost the sector as much as $6 billion (£3.9 billion) annually, or $2.1 million per organisation.
“We are seeing a shift in the causes of data breaches in the healthcare industry,” commented founder Larry Ponemon.
“Healthcare providers … need to keep pace with the growing cyber threats.”
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