Vast Majority of Healthcare Companies are Susceptible to Data Breaches

Vast Majority of Healthcare Companies are Susceptible to Data Breaches
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September 15, 2015

Your private health records may not be as private as you hoped.

According to a recent report from audit service KPMG, 81 percent of hospitals and health insurance companies have suffered a data breach in the past two years. This probably will not surprise informed consumers, as the news has been filled with examples over the past year.

In August 2014, hospital network Community Health Systems was infiltrated and had information on more than 4.5 million patients stolen. In February of this year, health insurance company Anthem admitted that 80 million medical records had been stolen by hackers since 2004. Premera Blue Cross, CareFirst Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and the UCLA Health System suffered breaches as well.

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that hackers had figured out a way to infiltrate a certain model of wireless intravenous pump, allowing an individual to remotely alter the amount of drug being administered.

KPMG analyzed a survey of 223 senior security or technology executives from health care organizations with more than $500 million in annual revenues to produce its report. "Apart from typical financial fraud, there is also the possibility of medical insurance fraud, or, in the case of providers, attacks on computer-controlled medical devices. As this is the largest part of the U.S. economy and a safeguard of peoples' well-being, healthcare is a matter of national security," the report's executive summary reads.

KPMG believes that the problem may be even worse than they are reporting. Twenty-five percent of those interviewed indicated that their organizations do not have a mechanism in place that can inform them if a breach has occurred.