Two-Thirds of Healthcare Organizations Experienced a Security Incident in the Past Year

By: Arieanna Schweber | 7/21/2015

2015 has been called the “Year of the Healthcare Data Breach,” and the year is only half over. The average cost of a data breach in healthcare is $5.9 million, higher than in any other industry. The 2015 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey recently revealed that 68% of healthcare organizations experienced a significant security incident in the past year. Cybersecurity was identified as an increased priority in 87% of organizations, as cyber attacks become more common.

"The recent breaches in the healthcare industry have been a wake-up call that patient and other data are valuable targets and healthcare organizations need a laser focus on cybersecurity threats," said Lisa Gallagher, Vice President of Technology Solutions, HIMSS. "Healthcare organizations need to rapidly adjust their strategies to defend against cyber-attacks. This means incorporating threat data, and implementing new tools and sophisticated analysis into their security process."

When you look at all the organizations in the HIMSS survey who suffered a security incident, 64% were from an external attack. Drilling deeper, 5% of those were from a nation state actor, 16% from hackers, 16% from social engineering, and 36% from an online scam artist.

Many reports this year have pointed out that while cyberattacks are indeed on the rise, people are still at the root of the issue, with as many as 90% of all security incidents are tied back to “people” - mistakes, phishing, bad behaviour, lost stuff, etc. In the HIMSS survey, 69% of respondents indicated that phishing attacks are a motivator for improving the information security environment, indicating that these “basic” cyber attacks still continue to be problematic.

Absolute’s Stephen Treglia recently wrote about the increased data security pressures the healthcare industry faces in a MedCity News article, "Here’s how healthcare can guard against data breaches in the 'year of the hack.'” Healthcare organizations around the world rely on Absolute Software to secure devices and the sensitive patient data they contain. To learn more about how Absolute Software can help mitigate data breach scenarios, visit our website.

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