Preventing Healthcare Database Breaches

Quite alarmingly, there were 2,181 healthcare data breaches between October 2009 and 2017, according to the HIPAA journal. Many of these data breaches had a significant impact on their respective healthcare organizations and many may have been preventable if a proactive, updated data security system was utilized. Here, the data forensics specialists at Atlantic Data Forensics discuss some eye-opening statistics about data breaches and how you can better protect your private healthcare information.

Healthcare Database Breaches Have Impacted Over Half of the U.S. Population

Out of the 2,181 healthcare data breaches that occurred between 2009 and 2019, it is estimated that more than 176 billion healthcare records were stolen or exposed. This number encompasses more than half of the U.S. population, and the number may be higher than the original estimate. One of the most significant healthcare database breaches that has occurred recently is the hacking of Anthem Inc. in 2015. When the healthcare data secured by Anthem Inc. was breached as a result of an IT incident, over 78,800,000 individuals were affected. This severe example of the consequences of a data breach demonstrates the importance of implementing a capable data security system to protect patient healthcare data.

Healthcare Data is a Target for Hackers

Due to the confidentiality of healthcare data and the sensitive, private information it contains, it is a sure target for cybercriminals determined to access classified information including a patient’s address, next of kin, medical history, social security number, insurance and date of birth. Access to much of this information can be used to commit identity theft, and all of it violates the privacy of the individual whose healthcare information has been compromised. Exposure of this information also violates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), federal legislation that makes personal health information private and enforces security of this information. 

Improve Your Healthcare Database Security System

Because cybercriminals have a vested interest in the theft of private patient information, potentially causing immeasurable damage, ensure your healthcare database security protocol is up-to-date. One of the most secure ways to protect patient information is to limit access to only those who necessitate access to the patient information, and to create a wireless network for guests so they can securely allow their patients access to wi-fi via a subnetwork. You can update your IT software by replacing outdated hardware with new, breach-proof hardware and conduct frequent risk analyses. By conducting a HIPAA risk security analysis, you can be better aware of potential weak spots in your security protocol and ensure no patient is at risk of their privacy being violated.

Consult a Data Forensics Specialist at Atlantic Data Forensics For More Information

A breach in a healthcare database is a stressful and damaging experience for both the healthcare entity and its affected patients. In order to prevent cybercriminals from accessing private information that could seriously hurt your patient’s security and identity, discuss how you can prevent potential breaches with a data forensics specialist at Atlantic Data Forensics Today.