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In Q4 2019, there was a slight reduction in the number of health data breaches when compared to Q3 2019, going from131 to 119. Q4’s figure, however, still accounts for a pace of over one per day. Of the 119 in the quarter, hacking/IT Incidents made up almost half of the breaches, coming in at 48.7%. Unlike in Q3 2019, there were no large-scale breaches in Q4. The single most significant breach affected 152,000 individuals. For the quarter, over 1.5M individuals were affected by a data breach, which, compared to Q3, is a 94% reduction.

A recent survey has highlighted the cost of healthcare industry data breaches, the extent to which the healthcare industry is under attack, and how often those attacks succeed.

Black Book Market Research surveyed 2,876 security professionals at 733 provider organizations between Q4, 2018, and Q3, 2019. Respondents were asked for their input on cybersecurity, ability to identify vulnerabilities, and security gaps to determine why so many cyberattacks are succeeding. 

96% of surveyed IT professionals believe that cybercriminals are outpacing medical enterprises. This data is no surprise, given that 93% of healthcare organizations reported having experienced a data breach since Q3, 2016. According to the report, 57% of organizations had experienced more than five data breaches during that time. More than half of the data breaches reported by healthcare organizations were the result of hacks and other attacks by external threat actors.

As section 13402(e)(4) of the HITECH Act requires, the Secretary must post a list of breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals. The infographic to the left illustrates the statistics from Q4 2019 of all healthcare-related data breaches. 2019 set another record for HIPAA enforcement.

Optimum Healthcare IT has in-depth experience helping healthcare organizations address their security and compliance needs. We offer a wide range of services, from strategy development to implementation of technology and processes to minimize risks. Our clients include large healthcare systems, community hospitals, and healthcare technology providers who need to ensure that their information technology platforms remain secure and meet regulatory requirements.

2019Q4 Data Breach Report

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