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15 Healthcare Data Breach Statistics for 2023

We researched the most important statistics to give you a better picture of data security in the healthcare sector. Here are 15 healthcare data breach statistics for 2023.

Data security breaches have been extremely common the last few years. Experts predict their frequency will increase in 2023. Healthcare data breaches are especially serious because malicious actors can access and steal patients’ personal information (PPI). They can even interfere with patient treatment.

While tools like a data management platform and a healthcare CRM can improve processes within your organization, having a better picture of data security in the healthcare sector can equip you to protect your patients and your healthcare facility from malicious actors.

We want to give you a better picture of data security in the healthcare sector. Here are 15 healthcare data breach statistics for 2023. We’ve also included some tips on how medical institutions can avoid data breaches.

Let’s jump right in.

1. Roughly 50% of medical device manufacturers increased their cybersecurity budget by over 25% last year (Source)

Chart showing the percentage of medical device manufacturers that increased their cybersecurity budgets in 2022.

Approximately 99% of all medical device manufacturers increased their device security budget last year. Reasons for this increase include both the rising number of data breaches and the increasing toll on data integrity.

At 49%, the greatest segment of companies increased their device security budget by more than 25%. 31% of companies went further, increasing their budget by 26-50%. Meanwhile, 18% of companies increased their budget by more than 50%. However, 11% increased the budget by less than 10%.

While none of the medical device companies polled decreased their device security budget, 1% had no change.

This puts the weighted average increase in the cybersecurity budget at 29%.

The pandemic led to an increase in cyber attacks across various industries. However, governmental orders led to a prioritization of cybersecurity. This led to increased security budgets across industries and companies.

The increase in cybersecurity budgets last year points to a trend of increased budgets in coming years.

2. Over 55% of medical device manufacturers did not have a Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) in 2022 (Source)

Chart showing percentage of companies using different methods to ensure medical device security.

Last year, less than half of medical device manufacturers had a team of experts who could respond to security breaches via electronic equipment. Data breaches present serious danger to healthcare institutions. But many manufacturers are not making an active effort to secure medical devices post-production.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 45% of manufacturers have a PSIRT.
  • 34% don’t have one but plan to establish one.
  • 21% don’t have one and don’t plan to get one.

Here’s what the medical device manufacturers that were polled in the survey do to ensure medical devices are secure:

  • 46% monitor resources like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Vulnerability Database (NVD) or MITRE’s Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) while 33% plan to do it and 21% have no plans to do it.
  • 40% regularly collaborate with industry information-sharing platforms while 38% plan to do it and 22% have no plans to do it.
  • 40% actively gather threat intelligence through various sources while 35% plan to do it and 25% have no plans to do it.
  • 38% release regular software security updates while 38% plan to do it and 25% have no plans to do it.
  • 31% have a vulnerability disclosure or bug-bounty program where anyone who finds a security threat gets a reward. 27% of companies plan to introduce this program while 42% don’t plan to start one.

The study also found that only 39% of manufacturers make proactive efforts to secure medical devices post-production. 40% of companies plan to make proactive efforts in the future while 21% have no plans to make any efforts.

3. A 2022 data breach at Shields Healthcare Group exposed the personal data of about 2 million people at 60 locations (Source)

Timeline showing notable healthcare cyber incidents in the past 5 years.

The March 2022 data breach was the biggest data breach of any medical institution last year. 

Each attack has a unique effect on the clinical care delivery and healthcare operations of the medical facilities. Meanwhile, the frequency of cyber attacks continues to increase.

Healthcare facilities need to maintain an ongoing heightened situational awareness. This helps protect existing cybercriminal targets and identify cyber threats while preparing for new and unique attacks.

Institutions should sign up for alerts on federal websites and regularly review the information available. This helps track new threats, attacks, and potential issues.

The U.S. government releases new reporting requirements to ensure facilities are properly secured. One of these is that all healthcare institutions need to ensure future cyber incident response plans include federal reporting mandates in their policies.

Organizations are required to report any abnormal system behavior, reboots, or other suspicious behavior. Quick reporting can lead to the quick provision of support for impacted organizations.

Other notable healthcare cyber incidents in the past 5 years

S.NoInstitutionYearAffected Areas/OrganizationsDamage/Outcome
1NotPetya2017Princeton Community Hospital, Heritage Valley Health System, Merck$10B fiscal damages
2WannaCry2017150 countriesOver 40% of healthcare industry impacted with billions in damages (ongoing)
3University of Vermont Health Network2020University of Vermont Health NetworkEHR down for a month which led to National Guard deployment
4Universal Health Services2020400 facilities$67 million in losses
5Blackbaud2020Rady Children’s Hospital, INOVA Health Systems, and dozens moreMore than 10 million patient records compromised
6Scripps Health2021Scripps Health$113 million in losses over four weeks due to ransomware
7Accellion Software2021University of Miami Health, Trinity Health, and CenteneMore than 2 million records affected
8Partnership Health Plan2022Partnership Health PlanOver 850,000 clients compromised
9Yuma Regional Medical Center2022Yuma Regional Medical Center700,000 patients affected due to ransomware attack

4. A total of 4,746 medical data breaches were reported from 2009 to 2022 (Source)

Chart showing the number of medical data breaches by state from 2009 to June 2022.

There has been a general uptick in the number of breaches over the years. These breaches lead to the exploitation and misuse of personal medical data and can put patient lives at risk. 

Such breaches can cause critical healthcare systems to go offline for an indefinite amount of time. This can leave medical professionals in the dark regarding critical information about their patients.

Health insurance information, Social Security numbers, medical history, financial data, and prescription information are linked to patient records. Breaches can expose all of that information. This can lead to a multi-level breach.

Approximately 20% of all breaches since 2009 took place in 2020 alone during the pandemic. This represented 803 breaches with over 46.6 million records becoming compromised.

The number of breaches has started to reduce since 2020 due to government action. But the rate of data breaches is still higher than it was in earlier years.

The Comparitech study also found that:

  • A total of 342,017,215 individual records were compromised or affected due to these breaches.
  • Over 112 million records were affected in 2015, the highest since 2009.
  • Since 2021, specialist clinics that focus on a specific medical group had the most data breaches at 15% (130 breaches).
  • Hospital networks had the most records breached since 2021. This accounts for 16% of all affected records (8.8 million) in that time frame.
  • The most common type of breach since 2021 has been hacking. It accounts for 353 of 862 breaches (40%).

The five U.S. states most affected by data breaches since 2021 are California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois.

5. Over 342 million individual records of patients were stolen or illegally accessed via data breaches from 2009 to 2022 (Source)

Chart showing the top 10 states with the most medical records affected by data breaches.

These records included individual medical and personal data including payment details. However, keep in mind that all states are required to report medical breaches to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) only if over 500 records are compromised. 

Individual breaches with fewer compromised records can file yearly reports. This means the total number of affected records may be even higher.

Indiana leads with the most medical records affected. The Hoosier state accounted for over 25% of all breached records (87.2 million records).

New York followed with 25 million compromised records. Florida had 23.1 million, California had 19 million, and Texas had 16.3 million.

South Dakota had the least number of data breaches and affected records.

The reason Indiana tops the chart by a large margin is because of the 2015 Anthem, Inc. breach where 78.8 million records were compromised.

Medical data breaches according to U.S. state

StateTotal BreachesRecords AffectedState PopulationRecords Affected per 100,000 People
District of Columbia22427,033670,05063,732
New Hampshire19485,6811,388,99234,966
New Jersey954,609,6669,267,13049,742
New Mexico432,592,4362,115,877122,523
New York28725,063,59319,835,913126,355
North Carolina11514,490,18510,551,162137,333
North Dakota10566,951774,94873,160
Puerto Rico434,652,4663,263,584142,557
Rhode Island25173,6821,095,61015,853
South Carolina541,879,5595,190,70536,210
South Dakota836,900895,3764,121
West Virginia30869,4561,782,95948,765

6. Over 44.8 million healthcare records were accessed via data breaches in 2022 (Source)

Chart showing the number of U.S. healthcare data breaches from December 2021 to November 2022.

These consisted of large batches of data that threatened the integrity of institutions as a whole. The current 12-month average for data records breached sits at 3.99 million.

November 2022 had the highest number of breached records with more than 6.9 million records accessed or exposed. This is despite the fact that November had one of the lowest numbers of data breaches at 49.

The highest number of data breaches was in May 2022 at 72. This was closely followed by October with 71.

Around 4.4 million records were breached in May while October saw more than 6.2 million records breached.

The lowest number of data breaches was in March 2022 at 43 while the lowest number of breached records was in April at approximately 2.2 million.

7. At 40% of the total cases, hacking was the most common form of healthcare data breach in 2021 and 2022 (Source)

Pie charts showing the types of data breaches in 2021 and 2022.

Hacking by external actors accounted for 288 of 711 total data breaches in 2021. It was closely followed by ransomware at 23% and 161 breaches.

Other common breach types include:

  • Card breaches
  • Insider breaches
  • Physical breaches through paper documents
  • Portable device breaches
  • Stationary computer breaches
  • Unintended disclosures

The method used in 18% of attacks is unknown.

In 2022, 43% of all data breaches happened through hacking while only 7% were ransomware attacks. Approximately 36% of all data breaches happened through an unknown method. This may indicate that new and unique data breaching methods are being used.

Card skimming is the least common type of data breach.

8. The average cost of a healthcare data breach in 2022 was $10.1 million, up from $9.2 million in 2021 (Source)

Chart showing the average cost of healthcare data breaches from 2016 to 2022.

Healthcare is considered critical infrastructure and is among the most highly regulated industries in the U.S.

The healthcare industry is followed by the financial industry where the average data breach cost $5.97 million in 2022. This difference between healthcare industry and financial industry data breaches is $4.13 million.

This puts the healthcare industry at the number one position by a massive margin and is a testament to why medical facilities need to make more proactive efforts toward data security.

9. Healthcare data breaches have been more expensive than in any other industry for the past 12 years (Source)

Chart showing the five biggest medical data breaches since 2013.

Costs related to data breaches in the healthcare industry are so high because of the need to store critical patient data. This includes Social Security numbers, financial data, medical history, and more.

A data breach at a healthcare institution not only compromises medical data but also other patient details that can cause further damage.

This is why the average healthcare industry data breach costs almost twice as much as breaches in the financial sector ($10.1 million vs. $5.97 million). The financial sector is a distant second.

These industries saw a decrease in the average data breach cost from 2021 to 2022:

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Transportation
  • Retail
  • Media
  • Hospitality

Meanwhile the healthcare industry saw an increase of $870,000 in the average data breach cost from 2021 to 2022.

Top 5 biggest medical data breaches with most affected records since 2009 

S.NoInstitutionYearRecords Affected
1Anthem Inc.201578.8 million records affected
2Optum360, LLC2018-201911.5 million records affected
3Premera Blue Cross2014-201511 million records affected
4Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings dba LabCorp201910.2 million records affected
5Excellus Health Plan, Inc.2013-20159.3 million records affected

10. It takes more than 2 years for a data breach to accrue its full cost in highly regulated industries such as healthcare (Source)

Pie chart showing data breach cost accrual for low-regulation industries.

Data breaches keep costing institutions long after the initial incident. This is due to external regulations as well as the time and resources it takes to recover from breaches.

Highly regulated industries see an accrual of 45% of the costs in the first year and 31% in the second year. Approximately 24% of costs accrue more than two years after a data breach.

The high costs are attributed to regulatory and legal costs that come up after a data breach. 

For low-regulation industries:

  • 66% of their costs are accrued in the first year.
  • 26% in the second.
  • 8% after two years.

That puts the 2022 average for all industries at 52% cost accrual in the first year, 29% in the second, and 19% after two years.

11. The average cost of a data breach has gone up 41.6% since 2020 (Source)

Chart breaking down the cost of a data breach into four segments.

This can be attributed to both the frequency of breaches and the cost of recovery. The massive increase in data breaches during the pandemic in 2020 also played a role in this huge increment.

Data breach costs are divided into four segments:

  1. Notification
  2. Post-breach response
  3. Detection and escalation
  4. Lost business

In most industries the lost business cost segment makes up the majority of the data breach cost. But for the healthcare industry the cost is divided among the last three segments while the notification segment is less than 5% of the total breach cost.

Approximately 83% of companies that had a data breach had been a target in the past. Only 17% of companies had their first breach in 2022.

As a result of the data breach 60% of companies increased their product and service prices. This means part of the burden of paying for these breaches was passed on to patients and their families.

12. By the end of Q2 2022, there had already been 337 healthcare data breaches that year (Source)

Chart showing the number of data breaches by the end of quarter 2 from 2010 to 2022.

Healthcare institutions had already seen a high number of major breaches by the halfway point of last year. This was less than the number of healthcare data breaches by the same time in 2021 but higher than at that point in 2020.

Here are recent years that saw the highest number of data breaches by the second quarter:

  1. 2021 with 368 breaches.
  2. 2022 with 337.
  3. 2020 with 270.

There has been a steady and slight increase in the total number of data breaches since 2010. Healthcare providers accounted for 72% of these breaches. This made the healthcare industry the leading target by a wide margin.

Chief information security officers working in the healthcare industry found that 54% of C-level executives are not proactively investing enough to prevent cyber attacks. While 90% of them have an incident response plan, this doesn’t guarantee that an organization will repel an attack. 

The study also found that 12% of executives only discussed cybersecurity after a data breach had already occurred.

13. In ransomware attacks, healthcare providers are more likely to pay the ransom than institutions in other industries (Source)

Chart showing industries most likely to pay a ransom from a ransomware attack.

Due to the sensitive nature of the data stolen, healthcare institutions often pay the ransom that criminals demand in ransomware attacks.

The 2022 report showed that healthcare facilities made the ransom payment in 61% of ransomware attacks in 2021. However, only 34% paid the previous year.

For comparison the cross-sector average of paying ransoms is 46%.

The reason for the massive increase between 2020 and 2021 is the increasing complexity and volume of attacks. The healthcare sector’s limited preparedness makes them more vulnerable and more likely to pay the ransom.

Healthcare organizations rush toward normalcy because ransomware attacks affect their business revenues and operations. Also because a breached database exposes patient information.

On average the healthcare sector has the second-highest remediation costs at $1.85 million. It can be more appealing for them in the long term to pay the ransom rather than paying remediation costs.

14. 70% of survey respondents said ransomware attacks on medical institutions affect patient care significantly (Source)

Chart showing how healthcare organizations say ransomware impacts areas of patient care.

Ransomware attacks slow down payment processing, medical record examination, and even patient recovery time.

71% of health delivery organizations polled said a ransomware attack leads to a longer length of stay for the patient. 65% said it leads to an increase in the number of patients diverted to other healthcare facilities.

More troubling is that ransomware attacks can have fatal consequences for patients. 36% of respondents said attacks lead to increased complications during medical procedures and 22% say they lead to an increased mortality rate.

43% of survey respondents said they’ve had at least one ransomware attack this year.

15. Only 78% of healthcare institutions have cyber insurance (Source)

Chart showing percentage of healthcare institutions in each industry that have cyber insurance.

This is lower than the global average for other industries. An average of 83% of organizations across other industries are insured against cyber crimes.

Of the 78% of healthcare industries with cyber insurance, 46% said their policies have exceptions and exclusions.

Much of the process for getting coverage has changed over the last year. This is partly due to the rapid increase in cyber attacks. For example, 51% of healthcare institutions say they now need a higher level of cybersecurity to qualify for cyber insurance.

10 ways to improve healthcare data security 

Data protection is a central tenet of cybersecurity as a whole. Here are 10 effective things you can do to protect your healthcare data.

1. Conduct regular data risk audits

A data risk audit is an in-depth examination of the entire data storage and management framework.

Doing this on a regular basis has the following benefits for a healthcare organization:

  • Exposes all major and minor vulnerabilities in the data storage system.
  • Reduces chances of both internal and external threats compromising data security.
  • Prevents data loss due to system error.
  • Helps determine the need for newer, more robust security systems.
  • Exposes any shortcomings in employee awareness of cybersecurity.
  • Reveals any security posture inadequacies from the side of vendors and medical associates.

The size and scope of the database as well as the sensitivity of the data affects the scope of the security audit. The audit could cover internal systems only or extend to communication channels and external vendor accounts.

Data security audits are meant to be a preventive measure to protect stored data and the data infrastructure. They’re often the best way to completely prevent breaches from the get-go.

2. Closely monitor records and electronic devices

A healthcare facility could have a vast network of connected electronic devices with a large number of people having access to some or all aspects of their function.

One of those aspects could be the ability to access data associated with those devices. Someone with access to medical imaging machines could also access stored images.

External actors who know about an employee’s access to patient data could exploit that access.

This presents both an internal and external data security risk. There could be malicious actors on the inside or someone could gain access to an operator’s login credentials. They could then collaborate with hackers to cause data breaches.

Monitoring all usage across the entire network could prevent the aforementioned and other related scenarios.

In case of a breach of security incident, experts can trace the precise entry points and evaluate damage. The organization can then take the appropriate measures to strengthen data integrity.

User data and log files on your networks and electronic devices help you identify areas of concern. This helps eliminate possible data leaks.

These logs are helpful in determining the cause and the extent of damage in the event of a leak. This makes monitoring them an essential data security aspect.

Here’s some important information from log files that you need to record:

  • User identifications (names, IDs, photos, phone numbers, email addresses, usernames,  and other relevant information).
  • Successful and failed login attempts.
  • Password changes.
  • Patient files, information, and other resources being accessed.
  • Search queries on databases.
  • Data manipulation language (DML) queries.
  • Applications and other software being accessed.
  • IP addresses of the devices being used to log in and log off.
  • Locations of these devices.

Modern cybersecurity systems and software come with inbuilt log monitoring programs. You can customize and standardize them to record and watch required log details.

With the advent of AI, software has advanced features that allow you to set automatic alerts as threats evolve. This enables you to take action ahead of time.

Check local laws and regulations before putting your monitors in action to determine what healthcare employee activity data you can record and collect. And make sure to get a signed consent letter from them.

3. Restrict access to patient data

A common lapse in data security is insufficient restrictions on employee access to patient data.

An effective way to prevent such lapses is to create protocols that restrict data access to the most essential personnel whose jobs rely on data access.

Most data restrictions require some form of user authentication. This ensures that only authorized personnel have direct access to patient data.

Members of this group may include doctors, management staff, and IT officials. 

Multi-factor authentication has proven effective against data breaches. This process requires authorized users to verify their identity to prove they are permitted to access the database and other applications in the authentication protocols.

Unlike single-factor authentication, this process requires two or more methods of verification.

These can include:

  • Information only an authorized user would know, such as a PIN or password.
  • A digital bypass item that only the authorized users would possess, such as a card or key.
  • Unique identification methods such as facial recognition, fingerprints, optical scans, and other forms of biometrics.

Since patient data can include vital information such as payment credentials, a breach could be disastrous for both the healthcare provider and the patient. This makes it vital to implement strict methods of data access restriction.

Patient data should be accessible only by a selected few. Open data greatly increases the chances of leaks.

In addition to multi-factor authentication, here are some best practices to control data access:

  1. Store data on a single server which can be accessed only by the relevant healthcare workers.
  2. Maintain a data hierarchy that allows access to non-sensitive data at lower administration levels. Authorize only upper management levels or those who need access to gain admittance to sensitive healthcare data files.
  3. Use Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and common access card (CAC) reading systems for ID proofing.
  4. Use phishing-resistant, multi-factor authentication and hardware keys like Yubico. 

These methods allow the greatest level of protection. Monitoring and recording log files becomes easy when only the required admins are given access. It also limits the potential for data leaks.

4. Create a new access permissions framework

Legacy systems with limited access control are often the reason for weak cybersecurity and data-related weaknesses in healthcare organizations. Often they’re not updated due to budgetary constraints and the need to train staff to use new systems.

The last few years have shown that investing in new data management software with a stronger access permissions framework is well worth the resources.

Systems like this have:

  • Authentication procedures such as biometrics and physical access credentials.
  • Regular patches and security updates remotely delivered to devices.
  • Better, more nuanced control over individual data sets.

They allow administrators to more closely control access over data.

This allows them to allocate specific permissions to certain personnel. For example, a doctor could have access to a patient’s medical history but not their payment credentials. This would prevent data leaks while compartmentalizing data for more efficient operation.

5. Create a separate wireless network for guests

Hosting guests on the same network as hospital staff creates potential for breaches from within the network by otherwise outside actors.

Public Wi-Fi connections are some of the easiest for experienced hackers and identity thieves to crack.

To prevent vulnerabilities like these from resulting in breaches, healthcare organizations can:

  • Install and maintain connected medical devices on a separate, heavily regulated network.
  • Create a separate network for guests and patients on a completely different server.
  • Disable any and all bridges from the guest server to the primary medical server.
  • Monitor and regulate traffic on the guest server.
  • Implement security protocols on the guest network.

Segregating networks has the advantage of limiting all online activity that isn’t vital to healthcare data management procedures. It may also free up resources that firms would spend on perimeter security such as firewalls and antivirus software.

That’s not to say that perimeter security is not necessary. But when a network is properly segregated it helps organizations invest more in securing the data host servers.

6. Hire more secure data management partners

Most hospitals and healthcare providing entities work with vendors, payment partners, and other external associates. Part of this work includes transmitting protected health information (PHI)

Healthcare facilities should evaluate all associates for compliance posture and cybersecurity.

Compliance regulations are especially important. The HIPAA Survival Guide lays down all the necessary groundwork for how healthcare providers can ensure that associates are compliant to PHI regulations.

According to the guide:

  • Any subcontractors who create, transmit, or maintain protected health information are subject to compliance regulation.
  • All covered entities need to get “satisfactory assurances” from vendors, subcontractors, and partners. These assurances are a guarantee that protected health information will be guarded wherever it goes.
  • Third-party services and apps are considered “associates” when any of those entities transmit protected health information. Apps such as those on the App Store and Google Play (when used to store or transmit PHI) are included and require a compliance contract.

It’s important to note that these regulations apply to any entities that create, store, or transmit protected health information. 

This point applies even more to data storage partners. Many healthcare organizations either don’t have the storage capacity or resources to store healthcare data.

Many external storage providers operate on very rudimentary security credential systems that can be prone to security lapses.

To prevent data breaches on third-party servers, healthcare organizations can vet such providers according to security protocols determined by competent IT staff.

Trusted data management partners maximize data security by infinite scaling and built-in monitoring features. This keeps critical healthcare information secure and bars data breaches and ransomware attacks.

A data management service will oversee not only security but all other aspects of data management. This includes storing, transferring, interpretation, processing, and analyzing the data for result-oriented findings.

A good data management partner will cost an average of $10,000 per year. Some of the premium and most secure data enterprises like Pirobase, ZoomInfo, and Zaloni Arena bill up to $100,000 or higher.

These services can be expensive but are effective. This is especially important for an overburdened healthcare staff. These services offer all-inclusive data management that might otherwise take a lot of time and effort to cover.

Healthcare service providers should only choose the most secure data management services. Investing in a recently launched cheap service can be very risky for an organization due to the sensitive nature of patient information.

7. Encrypt all medical data

Encryption is one of the most effective methods to protect data on both open and closed networks.

Some of the biggest communication and data transmission networks in the world, such as WhatsApp, use end-to-end encryption to prevent hackers from gaining access to user data.

Encrypting data that’s both in a static state and in transit helps make sensitive medical information difficult or impossible to decipher — even if a malicious actor gains access to it somehow.

Healthcare organizations should not only encrypt storage systems but also any mobile devices and equipment that provide access to medical data.

Such devices include laptops, smartphones, and portable storage drives. They also include medical equipment such as imaging systems that transmit data to and from servers and any piece of hardware that has an active internet (or intranet) connection.

8. Update the IT infrastructure

As mentioned earlier, legacy IT infrastructure may be the biggest vulnerability in a healthcare organization’s data storage fabric.

Older IT networks may not have the required encryption, access control, and usage monitoring options that more modern ones do. They also may not be compatible with modern device connectivity standards.

Most healthcare organizations today operate an internal internet of things (IoT) network consisting of medical devices and personal computing systems.

It’s important to have IT infrastructure that can actively segregate networks according to usage and prevent inter-network breaches.

Another important aspect of an up-to-date IT infrastructure is timely security patch updates. Keeping all electronic device software patches up-to-date prevents malicious software and bugs from compromising system integrity.

9. Invest in better cybersecurity systems

Select a security system that ensures maximum cyber resilience. It should secure everyday data transfers as well as prevent all chances of potential phishing attacks.

A good security system can be costly but is necessary considering the liability of healthcare institutions in handling patient data.

The cost of a healthcare data breach can go into the millions, so spending a few thousand dollars on preventive measures is common sense.

A full stack observability solution that offers the diagnosis and management of sensitive data across multiple IT tools can cost $4000 to $5000 per month.

However, most of these systems provide customization options. Choose the security tool according to the size and the need of your healthcare business and select only the required modules.

For example, Solarwinds is a trusted cyber security system that bills $45,000 annually for the full cybersecurity package. However, their “server and application monitoring” module costs as low as $1,000.

Some security systems charge as low as $65 for their annual plan, but their services and coverage are not guaranteed. Health care service providers can’t afford to risk “cheaper” services.

Here is some of the most powerful and top-ranked cybersecurity software.

10. Train staff in monitoring and safety protocols

Staff email accounts and other media profiles are the most common data breach points. These are not heavily secured, which increases the chances of phishing attacks and leaks.

Important guidelines listing essential safety protocols should be established.

These include:

  • Avoiding sending or receiving healthcare data via personal emails.
  • Prohibiting the exchange of any integral system data on social media platforms.
  • Logging out of devices after the end of every session.
  • Changing login passwords in brief intervals.
  • Using secure Wi-Fi networks and avoiding personal hotspots.
  • Utilizing strong alphanumeric passwords.
  • Requiring multi-step verification methods.
  • Updating software related to healthcare regularly.
  • Caching the data after every transfer.
  • Giving permission only to essential cookies on websites.
  • Not using pen drives and other external data share mediums.

User activities on the devices used for storing and sharing data should be monitored and access should be limited to only to a few concerned individuals.

Security awareness training programs should be required for employees handling patient data.

Here is a short training course that covers using appropriate caution when dealing with sensitive data.

Final thoughts

Achieving HIPAA compliance will help protect healthcare organizations from data breaches. Having partners and associates who comply limits the vectors that malicious actors could use to gain access to sensitive data.

This process may require investment in data management platforms and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. This brings additional costs to the already expensive process of updating data security and IT systems.

FreeAgent answers this need with a HIPAA-compliant CRM that eliminates any additional costs related to encryption and third-party dedicated data security software.

Try FreeAgent CRM for free and discover the data security difference at zero cost.

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