What makes the healthcare industry such a hot target for hackers? The answer lies in the records that they keep. Medical records contain some of the most valuable personal information — social security numbers, birth and death dates, family information, billing information including credit card data — that allow hackers to gain full reign on a person’s identity and do some major damage. Just like any other business, even in hacking it boils down to the bottom line, and hackers want the most payout for their efforts. Healthcare organizations are the latest gold mine.
Yet, so many organizations are doing a poor job of protecting patient data. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center 2011 Breach Stats Report, 20 percent of all data breaches reported in 2011 were in the healthcare industry; the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse pegged this number at 33 percent in 2011. So, anywhere from one-fifth to one-third of data breaches last year were at healthcare organizations – that’s significant.