Report: More Than Half of Data Breaches Since 2009 Resulted From Theft, Loss

Over half the breaches of protected patient information, reported to the HHS since 2009, have been a result of theft or loss, according to a report called "Breach Report 2012, Protected Health Information," by Redspin, an IT Security and consulting company.

The report examined the 538 large breaches of protected health information affecting over 21.4 million patient records that have been reported to the HHS since the interim breach notification rule went into effect in 2009, as a part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

Other key findings of the report are:

•    There was a 21 percent increase in the number of large breaches in 2012 as compared to 2011, but a 77 percent  decrease in the number of patient records impacted.
•    Fifty-seven percent of all patient records breached involved a "business associate," a third-party vendor that needs access to the protected health information to provide their services.
•    Thirty-eight percent of incidents were a result of an unencrypted laptop or other portable electronic devices.
•    The largest breach incident of 2012 resulted in 780,000 records being compromised.

More Articles on Data Breaches:

Laptop Theft at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Causes Potential Data Breach
Second Data Breach at Utah Health Department May Affect 6k Patients
11 Data Security Tips From Industry Experts

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