Burr & Forman

08.30.2017   |   Articles / Publications

Burr Alert: Health Care Companies Find Direction to Combat Cybersecurity Threats

More than 27 million patient records were affected by health care data breaches in 2016, according to a health care cybersecurity company. The cost associated with these breaches is staggering: an estimated $355 per stolen record — the highest among industries surveyed and more than twice the average global cost of a stolen record.

Data breaches can be difficult to detect, which makes this emerging threat an especially dangerous and expensive problem. According to the cybersecurity company’s analysis of reported or disclosed health data breaches, it takes more than 200 days for a health care organization to discover a breach — and more than 600 days if the breach came from an insider. Insider incidents, almost evenly divided between human error and wrongdoing, amounted to 43 percent of the reported health data breaches; with hacking and ransomware at 26.8 percent and loss/theft at 19 percent. Cybersecurity threats jeopardize patients, health care providers and organizations, and the industry as a whole.

Proper cybersecurity measures advance both clinical and business objectives in the health care industry by allowing efficient, high-quality patient care while sensibly allocating limited resources. Health care companies are now taking notice of recommendations from the Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force, established by the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015.

The task force recently outlined recommendations addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the health care industry. The task force, consisting of 21 subject matter experts within and outside of government, concluded that “health care cybersecurity is a key public health concern that needs immediate and aggressive attention.”

Download the full article, “Burr Alert: Health Care Companies Find Direction to Combat Cybersecurity Threats” written by J. Matthew Kroplin and Nicole A. Keefe.

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