Hacking Peaks List of 2015 Data Break Reasons

A study of break details for the duration of the initial 5 months of the year demonstrates that the main reason of 2015 HIPAA breaks is still hacking, which keep on to reveal patient health files in the millions.

The huge data break at Anthem Inc., revealed 78.8 million member files, however, the HIPAA breach at Premera Health was possibly more severe. Even though 11 million files were taken by hackers – significantly less than in the Anthem hacking case – the data thieved was more significant, and contained personal identifiers, medical information, and Social Security numbers; everything burglars require to commit scam on a massive level.

Hacking Main Reason of HIPAA Breaks and Reveals Most Files

Under the Break Notification Law, HIPAA-covered entities have to report data breaks involving over 500 people to the Division of Health and Human Services’ OCR. These break reports should be made within 60 days of the detection of a data break.

The two mammoth data breaks definitely are prominent in the break report lists because of the volume of files compromised. They are the biggest two healthcare breaks ever informed and make up some 90 million files; considerably more files than were revealed in the whole of 2014.

As per a report collected by HealthItSecurity between January. 1, 2015 and May 6, 2015, the Office for Civil Rights got 92 security break statements. Just under one-third of that total (30) has been attributed to network server incidents or hacking.

Illegal Revelations Main Cause of PHI Exposure

Nevertheless, in a close second is illegal to access and revelation with 27 reported cases for the year thus far. Illegal revelations have been initiated by incorrect mailings, staff prying on health files, data placed on unsafe networks as well as carelessness. The loss and thievery of devices is also an ongoing problem, accounting for 22 happenings and 13 happenings respectively. Incorrect removal accounted for only three happenings.

When hackers can access network servers, healthcare files, and email accounts, they are capable to get huge quantities of files. The Community Health Systems data breach of the previous year was initiated by hackers, and they were capable to get 4.5 million files. A year before, Advocate Health suffered a data breach because of a directed attack, and only over 4 million files were thieved.

Hackers Abusing Basic Safety Holes

Although the attacks are getting more advanced in nature, in several cases, hackers are capable of abusing fundamental security holes. Frequently these weaknesses arise from the failure to carry out basic security procedures, like altering default PINs, controlling the PINs that staff can make use of – barring “password” for instance – setting up software bits and applying policies covering the usage of private electronic devices at work.

Sometimes the easiest actions can be the most effectual. Applying these simple safety measures, as well as utilizing data encryption for text mails and on all moveable devices, will decrease the quantity of reported breaks significantly, and will make it tougher for hackers to thieve files.

Till healthcare providers modify their views and invest more greatly in IT safety and conformity, the data break tendencies are not likely to modify any time soon.

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a news reporter specializing in information technology cyber security. Mark has contributed to leading publications and spoken at international forums with a focus on cybersecurity threats and the importance of data privacy. Mark is a computer science graduate.