I hate keep haring on this, but data breaches are rising, and there is no end in site. According to Healthcare IT News, November saw a 60 percent increase from just October, the month before. November actually saw the most breaches this year.

What are the causes?

Believe it or not, employees were the source of the majority of the breaches. Employees caused 54% of the incidents in November. According to the Protenus Breach Barometer, 17 breaches were an error, and the rest were employee (insider) wrong doings. In actuality, only 9 were caused by hacking, and of those 9, 3 of them were caused hacking, and the other 6 were caused by ransomware courtesy of TheDarkOverlord, which has exposed hundreds of thousands of patient records.

Another notable point from the report: It took 135 days, on average, from the time the breach was noticed to when these entities reported it to the Department of Health and Human Services. Further, 60 percent of breached entities took longer than the required 60-day window to report the breach.

“It’s essential for organizations to be proactive when monitoring patient data,” the report authors said. “The sooner a breach is detected, the quicker the healthcare organization can mitigate the risk of significant damage being done with their patient’s data. The longer PHI is exposed, the more it can cost the healthcare organization and ultimately become troublesome for the patients.”

Lastly noted…out of the 54% of breaches in November, 70% were healthcare providers, but 25 of the incidents were caused by business associates or vendors. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in now. If you have digital information, you need to protect it.

For more information on how you can protect your network, contact info@tier3md.com.