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Healthcare Data Breaches on the Rise

Healthcare Data Breaches

Data Breaches in Healthcare

The more you know about the threats you face, the better your chances of keeping your data secure and your organization’s name out of the headlines.

However, as stories of data breaches across all industries continue to make the news, nowhere is the pressure greater to keep data safe than on the healthcare industry.

The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report

The 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon stated that the healthcare industry saw a total of 798 incidents via ransomware attacks throughout 2020. Out of the total, 521 of the incidents were confirmed data breaches where sensitive data was disclosed.

When you take a deeper look behind the breaches, financially motivated criminal groups continue to target this industry at rapid speed, while lost and stolen assets also remain a problem. Basic human error also plays a role in the exposure of data within the healthcare industry.

Healthcare Data Breach Statistics

According to a recent report, the “2020 State of the Healthcare Cybersecurity Industry Report” by Black Book Market Research, found that around 1,500 healthcare providers are vulnerable to data breaches of 500 or more records. This is a 300 percent increase over 2020 and attacks are predicted to triple in 2021.

The report also found that 75 percent of health systems, hospitals, and physician organizations feel that their infrastructures are unprepared to respond effectively to attacks. While 96 percent of IT professionals feel that data attackers are outpacing their medical enterprises, creating a disadvantage for providers.

Related Reading: Top Data Breaches of 2020: How You Can Minimize Your Risks

Establish Your Organization’s Security

Because the most common place where data is compromised is from corporate databases and web servers, hackers who gain access to these vulnerable areas are mining this data for private information such as social security numbers, birthdates, and credit card information.

Studies like these underscore the importance of establishing network security perimeters and implementing procedures that protect the privacy of patients' information residing on these servers.

IT managers must be vigilant to combat hackers' ever more sophisticated tools and methods, and that begins with better security procedures at the office.

Watch the Webinar: How to Prevent Data Breaches with GoAnywhere

Related Reading: 8 Ways to Protect Your Healthcare Organization from a Data Breach

Security Policy and Procedures

The first step in ramping up security is to write and formalize a security policy and procedures document that addresses best practice protocols and also encompasses applicable HIPAA & HITECH regulations.

Next, all employees must be trained and expectations for compliance made clear, because it takes a concerted effort on everyone's part to ensure the required protections are implemented consistently.

Related Reading: Can HIPAA-Certified Solutions Really Guarantee Compliance?

Secure Data Files in Motion

One of the more popular ways for hackers to capture sensitive data is via the movement of files and documents across the Internet. FTP is commonly used to send files, however, FTP sends the files unencrypted, and offers no protection for the server's login credentials. Once those credentials are captured, hackers can use them to access the FTP server to mine additional data files.

While managing the security of all the files in the office may seem overwhelming, Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions can simplify this task. Used in conjunction with a reverse proxy gateway, a much greater security perimeter is formed around the network, servers, and the sensitive data that needs protection.

Related Reading: What is a DMZ and Why Do You Need a DMZ Secure Gateway?

Watch the Webinar: Replace FTP Scripts with a Managed File Transfer (MFT) Solution

Learn More About Securing Healthcare Data & Preventing Breaches

Data breaches are a growing epidemic, especially in healthcare. It’s critical that your IT team develops a solid strategy that utilizes the most effective tools at preventing a breach.

Download our white paper, “Defending Against Data Breach,” for an in-depth look at how your IT team can defend against data breaches by developing the right strategy for data encryption, file transfer, and more.

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