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Healthcare Cybersecurity Stats You Need to Know

Cybersecurity attacks are all too common for businesses, but the risk is particularly great for healthcare, which is a prime target for malicious actors who want a lucrative payout. Plus, protecting patient data is critical. From HIPAA fines to interruptions in patient care, your healthcare organization has additional risk factors that make cybersecurity even more critical to operations. In this article, we’ll explore key statistics shaping healthcare cybersecurity in 2024.

In 2023, 79.7% of Data Breaches Were the Result of Hacking

According to a Proofpoint and Ponemon Institute healthcare survey, 88% of healthcare organizations reported at least one cyber attack in 2023. Even worse, respondents experienced 40 annual attacks on average. Unsurprisingly, malicious actors are at the root of almost all incidents. In 2023, The HIPAA Journal found that nearly 80% of data breaches were due to hacking.

Key Takeaway: A Comprehensive Approach to Cybersecurity Is Non-Negotiable

IT healthcare leaders must proactively implement comprehensive, holistic cybersecurity measures to minimize risk and prevent breaches before they occur. In years past, improper disposal, unauthorized access, and disclosure incidents were common. Now, data breaches are primarily due to hacking incidents, presenting ever-heightening challenges for cybersecurity leaders in healthcare. Plus, attacks on healthcare hurt more than just the bottom line; they also affect patients’ lives in ways that can be significant – more on that later.

As of 2021, Nearly 4 in 5 Office-Based Physicians and Nearly 96% of Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals Adopted a Certified Electronic Health Records System

While most breaches are due to malicious attacks, human error remains a significant factor in data leaks. Last year, The HIPAA Journal estimated that 133 million records were exposed, stolen, or otherwise impermissibly disclosed. Given the prevalence of electronic documents, human error is common. As of 2021, nearly 4 in 5 office-based physicians (78%) and almost all non-federal acute care hospitals (96%) use electronic health records.

Key Takeaway: Cybersecurity Is a Team Effort

It’s not just about the money or the disruption: During a crippling breach or attack when medical staff cannot access medical records, medication management systems, and other medical devices that rely on a now-compromised network, patient health is at stake. Each employee at your organization plays a vital role in preventing these dangerous disruptions. Careful, repeated HIPAA education, regular security awareness training, and the use of technologies for monitoring access to medical records help reduce incidents due to human error.

The Average Cost of Disruption to Normal Healthcare Operations in 2023 Was $1.3 Million — a 30% Increase From 2022

The average cost of disruptions to healthcare operations was $1.3 million in 2023, up 30% from the previous year. These data breaches can cause healthcare organizations to face more than just increased operational costs. This year, nonprofit Montefiore Medical was ordered to pay $4.75 million for a HIPAA violation after one of its employees stole and sold the medical records of thousands of patients over six months. The case found that the organization failed to conduct a comprehensive risk analysis, did not review records of information system activity regularly, and did not implement hardware, software, or procedural mechanisms that record and examine activity in all information systems that contain or use electronically protected health information (ePHI).

Key Takeaway: Failure To Be Proactive Causes Widespread Damage

If Montefiore Medical had had the proper cybersecurity measures in place, they could have likely avoided the costly fees — and potentially prevented the data breach altogether. Proactive cybersecurity measures are critical, and when you weigh the impact of regulatory fines, security measures are equally crucial to financial risk management.

60.9% of Participants in a National Library of Medicine Survey Named “Disruption to Workflows/Services” as a Top Challenge

In a study from the National Library of Medicine, nearly 61% of participants named “disruption to workflows/services” a top obstacle to cybersecurity implementation. Disrupting healthcare operations isn’t just costly – it’s a major pain for physicians and medical personnel. As a result, while healthcare leaders know cybersecurity is critical, determining how to implement new measures without causing gaps or delays in service is a new challenge.

Key Takeaway: Specialized Expertise Is Needed for Healthcare IT

Because healthcare IT affects business stakeholders, technology experts, and clinicians, special expertise is needed to understand the full implications of implementing new technology. Healthcare leaders should ensure their IT team understands healthcare policies and regulations to implement cybersecurity measures that maximize effectiveness while minimizing disruption to workflows and most importantly, to patient care.

TPx Gets Healthcare.

TPx understands the difficulties of the healthcare cybersecurity landscape. As a HIPAA-compliant managed services provider, our experts help healthcare organizations strengthen their defenses against cyber attacks and industry regulations. Contact us today to learn more.

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