Can Your Practice Afford a Data Breach?

Probably not.

A recent study found that the total average cost of a healthcare breach is $10.10 million.

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Can your healthcare practice afford a breach? Most healthcare entities cannot.

Since 2020, healthcare breach costs have risen by 42%. 

As we know healthcare breaches are incessant, it is important to understand the trends.

The trends that have emerged over the past few years are: 

  1. Repeat attacks. Many healthcare entities have seen repeat attacks. Organizations with automated security systems were able to shorten the breach lifecycle and mitigate the damage caused by the breach.
  2. Consistent causes. The most common cause of data breaches were stolen credentials. Ransomware also continues to plague healthcare entities, with ransomware increasing by 41% in the last year.
  3. Consistent place. The most common place for data breaches to occur is in the cloud.

While data breaches can be threatening, there are also good trends that have emerged over the past few years. These include:

  1. Automated security shortens breach lifecycles. When possible, make sure that your updates are automated and all security patches are up to date. Having sufficient security measures in place is your first line of defense for a cyber attack or breach.
  2. Shorter breach lifecycles mean lower costs. The quicker your practice is able to audit the damage and get up and running after a breach, the less money the breach will cost.
  3. Having appropriate policies and procedures with well-trained employees leads to shorter lifecycles. When your staff knows how to handle a breach, they can act quickly and mitigate the damage caused by the breach. This is essential when trying to get your practice back online and keep your patients’ protected health information unaffected.

So how can you protect your practice? 

  1. Work with your healthcare attorney to ensure that your HIPAA risk assessment is up to date and your security measures are sufficient.
  2. Test your breach readiness plan often.
  3. Make sure your policies and procedures clearly detail how to proceed in the event of a breach.
  4. Train your employees. We help our clients train their employees to know what to look for and what steps to take to respond to a breach right away.

If you have questions or need help with your healthcare breach readiness and response or HIPAA risk assessment, contact Rickard & Associates today.

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