2020 Data Breaches Skyrocket 55.1 Percent

February 22, 2021

Even as information technology managers strengthen healthcare organizations’ protection against hackers and ransomware attacks, data breaches are becoming more common and more expensive

In 2020, healthcare data breaches totaled 599, up 55.1 percent from 2019, according to cloud security company Bitglass reported by MedCity News. These breaches affected more than 26 million people.

Several major providers announced they suffered data breaches in 2020, with Pittsburgh-based UPMC and Omaha-based Nebraska Medicine being the latest to share their experience. Those breaches alone affected 255,000 individuals.

The average cost of a breach in healthcare has increased 10.5 percent from 2019 to 2020, the new report shows. The cost per breached record also rose to $499 last year from $429 the year prior, a 16.3 percent jump.

The report shows that hacking and IT incidents led to 67.3 percent of all healthcare breaches in 2020. This is more than three times that of the next highest category, unauthorized disclosure, which led to 21.5 percent of breaches. Loss or theft of devices accounted for only 8.7 percent of breaches, a far cry from 2014 when these were the leading causes of security breaches in healthcare.

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