New research from Verizon proves the healthcare industry is still several steps behind other industries in being able to protect patient healthcare information.

The 2018 Protected Health Information Data Breach Report was developed by evaluating 1,368 cybersecurity breaches from 27 different countries. Its findings include what caused these cybersecurity incidents, which incidents are the most common, and solutions for improving the security of patient health data.

The report found that an overwhelming 58% of cybersecurity incidents involving patient data were caused by insiders. Insiders were found to be endangering health data for financial gain (48 percent), fun or curiosity in reading person records (31 percent), and convenience (10 percent).

Additionally, the report also found that 21 percent of cybersecurity incidents occurred because of stolen laptops containing unencrypted patient data and that 70 percent of cyber security incidents with malicious code were deemed ransomware attacks.

Patient health data is incredible lucrative amongst cybercriminals, containing details like patients Social Security Numbers and financial information, and even prescription information. This is why it’s important for organizations storing patient data to continuously monitor who is accessing patient health records using tools like Breach Detection- Host Intrusion Detection, so you can spot if any unauthorized person(s) repeatedly try to gain access to patient data.  

In addition, adopt solutions to defend against ransomware attacks and malicious malware within your IT environment and medical devices.  


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