Data breaches to cost healthcare $6B per year

A surge in data breaches could be costing the healthcare industry $6 billion each year, according to the latest Ponemon Institute study.

The study, which used in-depth, field-based research involving interviews with senior-level personnel at healthcare providers and business associates, reveals more than 90 percent of healthcare organizations represented in this study had a data breach, and 40 percent had more than five data breaches over the past two years.

Researchers found the average cost of a data breach for healthcare organizations is estimated to be more than $2.1 million.

Here are four other findings from the study.

1. Criminal attacks on healthcare organizations are up 125 percent since 2010 and are now the leading cause of data breaches in healthcare.

2. Forty-five percent of healthcare organizations say the root cause of the data breach was a criminal attack and 12 percent say it was due to a malicious insider.

3. Web-borne malware attacks caused security incidents for 78 percent of healthcare organizations.

4. According to the study, most healthcare organizations are still unprepared to address this rapidly changing cyber threat environment and don't have the resources and processes to protect patient data.


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