Healthcare Data Breaches Will Cost Sector $4B in 2019


November 6th, 2019

New research suggests healthcare data breaches will cost the sector $4B in 2019. Explore why this is trending up and how healthcare can evolve security.

healthcare data breaches 4B

Healthcare is a massive target for cybercriminals. Hackers are clearly outpacing the technology innovation of provider organizations. Healthcare data breaches, according to a Black Book Market Research survey, will cost $4 billion in 2019. That’s billion with a B.

The survey included over 2,800 security professionals from 733 providers. The intent was to identify gaps, risks, and vulnerabilities that are inhibiting the healthcare industry in making strides to combat breaches. About 96% of experts surveyed believe cybercriminals are ahead of their ability to defend against them.

These eye-opening stats reinforce the need for healthcare to be more proactive in cybersecurity. The number of attacks is only increasing, as 93% of healthcare organizations have experienced one in the last three years. About one in 10 healthcare consumers has had their data stolen.  

Why Is Healthcare Still Struggling with Data Breaches?

healthcare data breaches struggle

Since it seems that healthcare data breaches won’t be waning, it’s time to address the real struggle. Much of it comes down to budget constraints. Black Book identified that 90% of respondents said their IT security budgets have remained relatively flat since 2016.

With competing priorities and every department fighting for funding, healthcare organizations find it difficult to invest in something that doesn’t generate revenue. However, the consequence of not investing puts them at a significant risk. This risk is quantifiable, as well. Most cyberattack recovery for healthcare breaches is, on average, $3.92 million. That number can easily rise depending on the type of breach and patients impacted.

Without budget evolution in healthcare, the focus on how to protect healthcare IT isn’t clear. They don’t have historical data. There are emerging technologies like AI. And, some of the buyers in healthcare organizations aren’t performing a true due diligence. That’s because a majority of hospitals don’t have a security executive on staff. Without expertise to make crucial decisions, cybersecurity won’t be as impactful.

Instead of managing cybersecurity internally, many in the healthcare sector are outsourcing this function. This approach can reduce costs and ensure that the latest cybersecurity tools are in place for defense mode.

Healthcare and Technology: Not Exactly the Odd Couple

Healthcare has a unique relationship with technology. It’s been able to boost outcomes, improve patient care, and deliver insights based on big data collection. But it has also created new risks, as healthcare data requires protection and compliance with HIPAA. Where these two sides converge is right now a space of vulnerability.

The future of healthcare cybersecurity must outpace what cybercriminals can do. Otherwise, the cost of risk becomes greater than the desire for profitability. When an organization hits this point, larger budgets for security could become a reality. However, healthcare should make careful investments and not be overly influenced by the immediacy that cybersecurity presents. Being strategic and proactive in cybersecurity is the optimal path to decreasing cyber attacks and healthcare data breaches.

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