2021 Cybersecurity Breaches Most Since 2018

Number of healthcare breaches in first half of 2021 up significantly from first half of 2020 and higher than any six-month period since 2018

By Chris Miller, Assistant Editor, Facility Market

Outpatient facilities, such as family medicine and specialty clinics, were targeted by cybercriminals almost as often as hospitals so far this year, according to a new report by the cybersecurity organization Critical Insight. In general, the number of breaches at healthcare facilities in the first half of this year was up significantly from the first half of last year and higher than any six-month period since 2018. The report used data from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.

Dealing with all healthcare facilities, cybersecurity breaches are happening almost twice as often since 2018, according to Healthcare Dive. The breaches dealing with hacking and IT incidents specifically are occurring three times as often. It is clear that with increasing access to technologies cybersecurity is becoming more of a problem in the healthcare industry.

Cybercriminals target healthcare facilities because that information is often worth more than a credit card or Social Security number from a different type of facility. The cost for recovering patient health records increased by 16 percent from 2019 to 2020.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined five different types of breaching incidents. They are theft, improper disposal, loss, unauthorized access or disclosure and hacking or IT incidents. Hacking and IT breaches contributed to approximately 70 percent of the cybersecurity breaches in the first half of the year. Hackers often target smaller hospitals, since they have similar technology as larger ones but can lack sufficient security technology. Healthcare systems are a gold mine for hackers. Understanding the statistics behind cybersecurity breaches can help hospitals to mitigate their effects.

August 31, 2021

Topic Area: Information Technology

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