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Criminal Attacks Leading Cause of Data Breach in Healthcare Industry - Ponemon

Ponemon Institute conducted a new study which was sponsored by ID Experts reveals that criminal attacks are the leading cause of data breaches leaving behind accidents or technical failures. Natlawreview.com reported during the second week of May 2015 quoting the report saying that cyber-criminals are more and more targeting healthcare providers and business associates because these individuals possess massive amounts of personal data and these attacks are costing the health care industry potentially billion of dollars.

The Ponemon Institute in its report in 2015 found for the first time that criminal cyber-attacks like web-borne malware attacks were overtaking stolen and lost devices to become leading sources of data breaches.

In fact, Ponemon evaluates that these attacks have gone up by 125% since last five years while medical identity theft has nearly doubled in the same period.

The Institute writes that "cyber criminals recognize two serious facts about the healthcare industry: 1) healthcare organisations possess massive personal information about finance which are lucrative and 2) healthcare organisations do not have the resources, processes and technologies to identify and prevent attacks and sufficiently protect data of patients."

All healthcare organisations irrespective of their sizes are vulnerable to data breach. Ninety-one percent of healthcare organisations had one data breach; 39% experienced two to five data breaches and 40% had more than five data breaches during last two years.

In comparision, 59% of business associates experienced data breaches out of which 14% experienced two to five data breaches and 15% experienced more than five data breaches during the same period. Data breaches are costing the healthcare industry $6 billion per annum and the average economic impact of data breaches per organization becomes $2,134,800.

Hipaajournal.com published news during second week of May 2015 quoting Rick Kan, Co-founder of ID Experts, as saying "there is a real incentive for criminal organisations which exist in Eastern Europe, China, Russia and Iran to go after and compromise these organisations to gain entry to that data".

The study reveals that healthcare records are now being sold for $50 to $60 as compared to 50 cents for credit card numbers and therefore it is no surprise that hacking attacks are increasing.

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