Health data breaches hit 2016 high in November

Just when you think the cybersecurity problem couldn’t get any worse in healthcare, along comes a report saying that there were more health data breaches disclosed in November than in any other month in 2016.

In a report released Thursday, Protenus, a startup focused on tracking and preventing healthcare data breaches, said there were 57 such incidents last month. That is 60 percent higher than the 35 in October, based on statistics compiled by

Surprisingly, 31 of the data breaches in October, or 54 percent, were inside jobs, according to the monthly Protenus Breach Barometer, while just nine were traced to hackers. The Ponemon Institute said in May 2015 that criminal activity had become the top source of health data breaches.

“While insiders are always a major source of health data breaches and HIPAA violations in any given month, this month was particularly striking,” Protenus Cofounder and CEO Robert Lord said via email. “In November, there were insider breaches at a few business associates that resulted in a wide array of their clients submitting breach reports.”

At least three of the hacks involved ransomware; a fourth “mentioned ransom/extortion but not ransomware,” the Breach Barometer said.



Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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