Recent Reports Suggest Alarming Uptick in Healthcare Data Breaches

05 Jul, 2022 F.J. Thomas

                               

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – According to recent reports, hackers have been actively hitting healthcare the last couple of months.

In a Becker’s report from earlier this week, Baton Rouge general had to shut its computer systems down and revert to paper records after a data breach hit their EHR. While the facility is still treating patients, they have not released more information regarding the severity of the breach.

In yet another recent report from Databreaches.net, Fitzgibbon Hospital in Missouri was hit by a ransomewear group calling themselves, “DAIXIN Team”. In taking credit for the data hack, the group shared a link to the dark website containing the stolen data. According to the report, the stolen data included database tables from Fitzgibbon’s EHR, as well as emails and patient forms. There is also some evidence that employee salary records were included. The case is still under investigation and no formal acknowledgement has been made by the hospital.

Last year, there was a notable increase in the number of healthcare cyberattacks from the previous year. In fact, when broken out by quarters there were 4.5 times as many data breaches in the first quarter of 2021 as there were the previous year. Interestingly enough, 2019 saw a larger volume of data breaches than 2020. In 2019, 42.3 million patient records were compromised, compared to 14.4 million in 2020 and 44.8 million in 2021.

According to the data on the HHS Breach Portal, it would appear healthcare may be in for another rough year. Comparing quarters, in 2021 there were 75 breaches reported in the first quarter, in second quarter there were 105. This year however, the number of breaches reported in first quarter is nearly double at 137, representing an 82 percent increase over the previous year.

In a second quarter comparison, there were 105 reports filed in 2021, and 183 filed thus far in 2022, equating to a 74 percent increase. That total could go higher as the last report date is June 24th.

The total patient records impacted in first quarter 2021 was 7.9 million, but that total dropped to 7.5 million for this year. Second quarter however saw an increase from 9.6 million in 2021 to 12.1 million in 2022.

Aside from hacking incidents, there were 13 reported incidents of theft in 2021, dropping to 11 in 2022. For unauthorized access, there were 87 incidents in 2021, and 46 have been reported so far this year.


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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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