January averaged 1 data breach per day

There were 31 healthcare data breach incidents in January, averaging one breach for each day of the month, according to the Protenus Breach Barometer, which utilizes information from DataBreaches.net.

Protenus' analysis is based on incidents reported to HHS or disclosed to the media or other sources in January 2017.

Here are five additional findings from Protenus' analysis.

1. Approximately 59.2 percent of breached records — 230,044 records — were attributable to insiders. Insiders — including employees stealing patient information or snooping in patient files — caused nine incidents in January. Five of them were the result of insider wrongdoing and four were the result of insider error.

2. Twelve incidents in January were caused by hackers. Protenus has data for 10 of these incidents, which affected 145,636 patient records.

3. Twenty-five incidents — 80.6 percent of all reported entities — involved healthcare providers. Another four incidents involved health plans and two involved third parties.

4. Including only the incidents for which Protenus has data, it took an average of 174 days for an entity to report a breach to HHS. Forty percent of entities took longer than the allotted 60-day window to report a breach to HHS.

5. The January breaches occurred in 21 different states. California reported the most breaches (six), and Maryland had the second highest number of breaches (three).

More articles on health IT:
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'Dealing with the information overload': 3 questions with Dr. Anil Jain of IBM Watson Health

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