2016: Worst Healthcare Breaches

In 2016, healthcare was hit with many breaches of different sizes and different magnitudes.

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While breaches of all sizes can be detrimental to healthcare practices, some are much worse than others.

Some of the worst healthcare breaches of 2016 were:

  1. Banner Health – 3.7 million people were affected;
  2. BlueCross BlueShield – 3.3 million people were affected;
  3. Peachtree Orthopedic Clinic – 543,879 people were affected;
  4. Athens Orthopedic Clinic – 397,000 people were affected; and
  5. Community Health Plan of Washington – 381,534 people affected.

Other breaches impacted health systems in a totally different way. Some hackers and cybercriminals used viruses and ransomware to demand payment in return for control of electronic systems and records. This caused some hospitals to refuse patients, or transfer patients for critical care.

Some of the worst ransomware breaches of 2016 were:

  1. Appalachian Regional Healthcare – Hackers forced the healthcare system to shut down for approximately 3 weeks;
  2. Methodist Hospital – Ransomeware limited communications and web-based services;
  3. MedStar Health – A virus prevented MedStar from accessing their system, forcing MedStar to pay hackers $19,000 for access;
  4. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center – The hospital’s data was held hostage until hackers received $17,000. The hospital was shut down for 10 days.

Ransomware increased by 400% in 2016. Breaches are expected to continue in 2017, especially in healthcare as patient health information continues to be lucrative on the black market.

We help our clients protect their practices by ensuring their risk assessments and breach readiness plans are up to date.

Make sure your employees are trained and up to speed on all policies and procedures so that your practice can survive a breach when it occurs.

In our next blog post, we will keep you informed of related issues.  To get this important information delivered directly to your mail box, click here to Subscribe.

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P.S. If you or your patients are interested in consumer healthcare issues, check out myhealthspin.com.

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