BALTIMORE, March 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — More than 50 million patient records were breached in 2021, according to a new report released today, the Protenus Breach Barometer®. Published by Protenus, a healthcare compliance analytics company that protects patient data for major healthcare systems nationwide, the Breach Barometer is the industry’s definitive source for reporting data breaches. health.
In 2021, the healthcare sector faced rising supply costs, higher salaries and critical staff shortages exacerbated by COVID-19, in addition to the continued challenge of retention and employee satisfaction, patient safety and organizational success. Although malicious actors have relentlessly exploited weak spots in healthcare for years, continued disruptions have made the sector an even bigger target for data breaches in 2021. There were 905 reported healthcare data breaches in 2021, up 19% from the 758 reported in 2020.
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The most significant breach in 2021 was the result of a hacking incident involving the IT associate of a children’s health plan based in Tallahassee, Florida. Hackers exploited vulnerabilities in the health plan website that the web hosting provider had not patched or patched, gaining access to information such as full names, dates of birth, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, financial information, family relationships and secondary insurance data. The incident affected up to 3,500,000 people who applied for health insurance between 2013 and December 2020.
The Breach Barometer findings also indicate that insider incidents continue to pose a risk, accounting for more than 1 in 10 healthcare data breaches. Insider behavior can, and often does, give outsiders inappropriate access to patient data and may have provided a gateway for the numerous hacking incidents that accounted for the majority of breaches in 2021.
Nick Culbertson, CEO of Protenus, remarked on the seriousness of insider incidents, noting, “The need for proactive monitoring of patient privacy has never been greater. The threats we see today are far more intrusive than in the past and can come from multiple sources – a random snooping employee or a sophisticated cybersecurity hacker gaining access through an employee channel. Once a breach erodes patient trust in your organization, it is extremely difficult to recover from.”
The incidents included in the analyzes in this report were compiled and analyzed by DataBreaches.net, with additional research and analysis provided by Protenus.
Protenus’ AI-powered patient privacy monitoring and medication diversion solutions help hospitals and healthcare systems ensure the security and appropriate use of healthcare data. Founded in 2014, Protenus was named one of the 2021 CBInsights Digital Health 150, is a three-time winner of the Forbes‘ America’s Best Startup Employers, and was named one of the best places to work in healthcare by Modern healthcare and one of the best places to work in Baltimore by the Baltimore Business Journal and the Baltimore Sun.
Protenus harnesses the power of AI to provide healthcare organizations with scalable risk reduction solutions that drive the safest outcomes for patients while protecting organizations’ reputations. We are committed to innovation, determined to reduce risk and focused on supporting our community of employees, customers and ultimately patients. Empowering healthcare to eliminate risk is at the heart of everything we do. Learn more at Protenus.com and follow us on Twitter @Protenus.
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