The healthcare industry is a favorite of the vast majority of cybercriminals. Over 20 million patients' sensitive data has already been exposed in healthcare data breaches as of June 2022.

According to a report, 59 percent of healthcare organizations have reported a breach in the last year.

What do the numbers say?

  • In 2021, the HIPAA reported 713 major healthcare data breaches affecting 45 million individuals, an increase of more than 7.5 percent compared to the previous year.
  • In a report published in July, the number of ransomware attacks on the healthcare industry in the United States increased by a whopping 94% over the previous year. In June alone, 70 healthcare data breaches were reported to the HHS Office for Civil Rights.


Prominent healthcare attacks in 2022

  • In July, a cyberattack on Avamere Health Services resulted in the compromise of sensitive health information of nearly 100 covered entities and nearly 381,000 individuals.
  • PFC reported a ransomware attack in February that led to a significant data breach that impacted 657 healthcare organizations. The attackers gained access to files that contained personal data.
  • Insurance company Aetna ACE reported a health data breach affecting nearly 326,000 people caused by an apparent ransomware attack on a subcontractor, OneTouchPoint. Nearly 1.1 million people were affected by the hacking incident, which was discovered in April.
 

What makes the healthcare sector susceptible?

  • The Healthcare industry carries Protected Health Information like patients’ confidential details, their medical history, and payment details.
  • If a data breach takes place, the healthcare industry is most likely to pay the ransom to access its encrypted healthcare data back.
  • In a recent survey conducted by Sophos, 61% of healthcare organizations are willing to pay the ransom which in comparison to the global average stands at 46%.
  • Many healthcare organizations lack the infrastructure when it comes to granting third-party secure access to their systems, servers, and assets.
  • Organizations have found it difficult to adapt to the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape as 63% of them concede that managing third parties is a cumbersome task for them.

How to fix this?

The only way for the healthcare industry to combat data breaches is to be proactive in the fight against cyberattackers.
  • Possible solutions include investing heavily in cybersecurity solutions to gain control of their security and not having to worry about managing vendors and access.
  • Furthermore, real-time monitoring can assist the healthcare industry in identifying and filling gaps before an attack occurs.

Conclusion

Healthcare-related cybersecurity concerns have constantly been on the rise. Facilities in the healthcare sector must adapt to new security technologies and the leaders in the healthcare industry must put in the right effort at the right place through intelligent solutions to safeguard against any type of data leak.
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