By Manisha Kathooria
Over the past 5 years, healthcare data has fallen prey to unethical attacks that compromise sensitive patient information. If you look back at 2015, it was the worst year in healthcare data security when data breaches hit an all-time high by affecting 113 million individuals approximately.
As of today, the number of breaches reported to the Office for Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has been consistently increasing. Also, the number of individuals affected does not seem to improve despite regulatory enforcement procedures and laws drafted to put a check on this.
This infographic by Kays Harbor establishes a comparative analysis and infers how data breach patterns have evolved in all these years up to 2017. It highlights the following major findings:
- HIPAA data breaches reported in 2017 were more than double the number of breaches in 2016. Though, the individuals that are estimated to be affected by these breaches was much less than the past four years.
- Healthcare providers again made it to the top of the list for reporting 231 data breaches – highest in all these years.
- Information technology continues to be a major reason for these breaches so far, showing an upward trend in contribution of hacking and IT incidents resulting in data loss.
- Kentucky based healthcare organization, Commonwealth Health Corporation reportedly filed a breach confirmation related to theft affecting 697,800 individuals.
- While Texas reported maximum hacking incidents, breached entities in California filed maximum thefts two years in a row.
Furthermore, it discusses the trends and predictions by the C-suite in healthcare industry for the coming year. David Muntz, principal at StarBridge Advisors said, “There seems to be a growing gap between the demand and supply of cybersecurity professionals that needs to be addressed. On the positive side, vendors are providing strict countermeasures for vulnerable products and services which will result in HIPAA being perceived as an enabler for data sharing as well.”
As a matter of fact, 2018 has set all hopes high and CIOs are looking forward to a decline in the breached numbers with active cybersecurity measures challenging the perils of vulnerable healthcare systems.