Ponemon: Data Breaches Cost Health Care Industry Billions

Recent research by the Ponemon Institute found that the health care industry is struggling to protect sensitive medical information.

According to eSecurity Planet, the average health care organization experienced 2.4 significant data breaches in the past two years, resulting in costs of more than $2 million per organization. In fact, U.S. health care organizations are forking out more than $6 billion a year due to data breaches. The most common reasons for these expensive and embarrassing incidents are unintentional employee action, lost or stolen computing devices and third-party error.

Shockingly, patient data protection is not a top priority for 70 percent of hospitals. What’s more, more than half of respondents said they have “little or no confidence” in their ability to adequately protect patient records. Clearly the health care industry is not paying attention to security. IT Business Edge blogger Mike Vizard has this to say:

Whether it’s going to take a major security breach to get senior managers at health care organizations to focus on this issue is still really anybody’s guess. But for the moment, it looks like health care providers are not paying as much attention to security as they should …

There has been no shortage of reports about hospital data breaches. Hospitals in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Philadelphia and New York have all suffered data breaches in the past six months, putting hundreds of thousands of patients at risk.

Check out this slideshow for the results of the patient privacy and data security study conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

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