As Top Targets for Hackers, Healthcare Organizations Must Remain Vigilant in Protecting PHI

Between 2018 and 2019, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that data breaches increased by 17 percent, with healthcare listed as a top industry impacted by these events. According to researchers, “hacking” is responsible for the highest percentage of data breaches, while “unauthorized access” is the second most common breach method.

ITRC Board Chair Matt Cullina says the statistics reinforce the need for healthcare organizations to “be vigilant in protecting data and systems, ensuring they have current protections in place, because even non-sensitive data exposure can lead to more serious issues.”

In order to reduce the likelihood of an adverse event, the study encourages healthcare systems to “share more information about the root cause of a breach and the number of people/accounts/records impacted by the event.” This knowledge, they say, can help information security teams to “adequately prepare for or defend against similar attacks.”

ITRC notes that 2019 did see a 65 percent decrease from 2018 in sensitive records exposed.

Click here to access the full ITRC report.

MLMIC offers a number of resources that can help policyholders mitigate risk of a data breach: