Healthcare data breaches up 55.1% in 2020, report finds

Hospital data breaches increased nationwide in 2020, affecting around 26.4 million people in the U.S., according to a study published Feb. 19 by cloud security platform Bitglass.

Bitglass analyzed HHS data on hospital breaches in 2020.

Six key findings:

  1. Healthcare breaches increased 55.1 percent from 386 in 2019 to 599 in 2020.

  2. Hacking and IT incidents accounted for 67.3 percent of data security compromises in the healthcare sector in 2020, affecting 24.1 million people.

  3. Unauthorized disclosures were the second most common type of breach (21.5 percent), followed by loss or theft (8.7 percent) and other breaches (2.5 percent).  

  4.  The average healthcare firm took 236 days to recover from a breach. 

  5. The average cost per healthcare record breached increased from $429 in 2019 to $499 in 2020, costing healthcare organizations around $13.2 billion in 2020.

  6. Thirty-seven out 50 states reported more breaches in 2020 than the previous year. Bitglass attributed this to rapid cloud expansion, use of personal devices and working remotely amid the pandemic.

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