IT | Security

Healthcare Industry: Primed for a Large Data Breach

By: Absolute Team | 1/25/2012

As we shared earlier this month, healthcare breaches in the US are on the rise: up 32% over the previous year. Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute, discussed these findings with Government HealthIT, alongside Rick Kam of ID Experts, saying that a "data spill" in healthcare could be more damaging than what BP faced after the oil spill in the Gulf.

According to Dr. Ponemon, the street value of health information is 50 times greater than other types of data. Given that data has shown that the healthcare industry is the weakest at protecting its information, this is troubling.

Dr. Ponemon and Rick Kam both believe the industry is 'ripe', given all the risks and increased attacks, for a big data heist, a "data spill". The industry currently spends $6.5 billion on data breaches. That same amount of money could, for example, pay for the yearly salaries for more than 81,000 nurses.

The article discusses some of the reasons that data breaches are growing - in general as well as in healthcare - and some of the nefarious uses that healthcare data can be put to. Perhaps more importantly, the article looks at why healthcare information breaches are so damaging - and impossible to recover from. It's an insightful read for anyone, particularly those working in healthcare.