Healthcare Data Attacks 2020
A significant data breach exposing millions of healthcare data occurred in 2020.
This guide will inform you of the vital information regarding the 2020 healthcare data breach.
The healthcare industry collects multiple private and confidential information from individuals seeking medical attention.
It is essential that this information is safeguarded and protected against cyber attacks.
Multiple Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations are in place for securing healthcare-related data. However, this has not stopped cyber attackers from attempting to access medical records.
In 2020, the worst health care data breach was reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recording more than 600 data breaches and exposing almost 29 million data.
Stolen Healthcare Data
The data breach revealed personal data kept in medical records, which includes:
- Contact numbers
- Social security numbers
- Credit card information
- Family history
- Physical descriptors
Depending on how much information is included in the stolen data, it can be sold on the dark web for up to $1,000 per record.
The stolen medical records are more vital than bank information since a patient’s medical history cannot be changed once it is exposed.
Attackers can use the medical records for multiple fraudulent activities, including:
- Creation of false identities
- Making fake medical claims
- Acquiring controlled substances
- Extorting individual’s whose data were exposed
Healthcare data breaches are also less likely to be discovered than financial data breaches. Given this, it is possible that the breach happened longer, and more data was exposed.
Impact on Healthcare Institutions
Healthcare organizations are vulnerable to cyber attacks no matter how secure their data are.
The confidential records stored by healthcare organizations make it a likely target by cybercriminals.
For the past years, multiple data breaches were reported against laboratories, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes.
In 2019, the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) suffered a cyber attack that exposed data of almost 25 million patients, including patients of BioReference Laboratories.
After the incident, AMCA has filed for bankruptcy, stating that they may not pay for all claims.
Healthcare-related apps are also at risk from cyber-attacks. Healthcareglobal reported that around 85% of the data stored in COVID-19 related apps had been leaked.
If healthcare institutions store their medical records in the cloud, hackers can also gain access to them.
The Blackbaud data breach, which currently holds the record for the most significant healthcare data breach, leaked more than 10 million medical records.
It is estimated that the breach lasted for almost a month, and up to 22 health care organizations were affected.
It was also reported that around 10% of the patient’s bank account information was exposed from the incident.
Healthcare Data Breach Lawsuit
If an individual was informed that their confidential information was included in the data breach, it is advised that they take legal action against the health care institutions.
Affected individuals can file for a class action lawsuit alleging that the institution has failed to follow the HIPAA regulations and protect their information from cyber attacks.
Editor’s Note on Healthcare Data Breach 2020:
This article is published to give you an overview of cyberattacks against healthcare institutions.
What are your thoughts on this piece? Has your data been exposed due to a healthcare cyber attack?
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