Patients’ personal data is being exposed at an alarming rate, according to the latest security report from the Identity Theft Resource Center, a trend that illustrates how hackers and identity thieves are targeting less secure data sources for their nefarious projects.
As eSecurity Planet reports, more than 100 health-care providers reported significant data breaches in the first half of the year, more than triple the number of security incidents reported by the banking and finance industry.
Security experts said breaches of this type — be it stolen laptops, USB drives or desktops — are particularly common in hospitals and physicians’ offices because these facilities have so many different types of workers (nurses, doctors, food service personnel, custodial staff, etc.) milling about in buildings that are usually much less secure than a bank or a DMV branch.
Data breaches are occurring at health-care organizations at a much higher rate than in any other industry, a trend that reflects both the vast amount of personal data housed at hospitals and medical centers and the comparatively lax security employed by these organizations, according to a report from the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center.
According to the report, 113 of the 385 U.S. companies and organizations that endured a significant data breach in the first half of the year were health-care providers. By comparison, only 39 breaches were reported at banking and other financial institutions.
The report analyzed data breach statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To qualify as a significant breach, the compromised data had to include social security numbers, driver’s license numbers and financial account information.