Anatomy of a Healthcare Data Breach

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The stark reality all healthcare industry executives must face is that their organization will likely experience a data breach. The only questions are: When will it happen, how pervasive will it be, and how much will it cost them to remediate the problem?

Large breaches at organizations like Anthem Health, Community Health Systems and Advocate Medical Group represent a rapidly increasing number of healthcare organizations that have suffered expensive, disruptive, and embarrassing security problems.

Consider this starting fact: The healthcare industry represented 44% of all security breaches during 2013, making it the number-one industry for data breaches according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Why? A big reason is the economic value of patient data. Experts believe that Protected Health Information (PHI) is now worth 50 times more to hackers than credit cards or Social Security numbers, due to PHI's susceptibility to identity theft, fraud, and stolen prescriptions.

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