Number of health records breached hits 4-year low: 5 things to know

The total number of healthcare records breached in 2017 is at a new, four-year low clocking 4.7 million individuals affected, according to a report from Bitglass, a cloud security provider.

The fourth annual Healthcare Breach Report aggregated data from HHS' Office for Civil Rights data breach portal to identify the most common causes of data breaches and how they've changed over the years.

Here are five things to know.

1. The amount of healthcare records breached was down 72 percent between 2015 and 2017, and down 95 percent since 2016 — excluding the massive breaches at Anthem and Premera.

2. The number of data breaches declined slightly, from 328 in 2016 to 294 in 2017.

3. Breaches in 2017 were primarily hacking and IT incidents (70.9 percent), followed by loss or theft (20 percent) and unauthorized disclosure (8.5 percent).

4. However, organizations are doing a better job mitigating a breach's damage, with each data breach, on average, compromising 16,060 records.

5. The cost per leaked record increased from $269 in 2016 to $380 in 2017.

Click here to access the complete report.

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