The most targeted industry in the US last year for data breaches was healthcare, according to new research collected by CitrixShareFile from the the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study by the Ponemon Institute, in partnership with IBM Security.
The research shows that the healthcare industry suffered 328 data leaks, equivalent to 60% of all breaches in 2017. The breaches are estimated to have cost $1.2 billion and also put the personal information of both patients and healthcare companies at risk.
From the 328 leaks, almost half (46%) came through hacking or malware, 33% were a result of unintended disclosure, 18% came from physical loss and a combined 4% came from insider leaks and portable devices.
Experts that Citrix ShareFile spoke to state that healthcare was targeted due to personal data such as social security numbers and payment information being more high value information for cybercriminals.
The Commonwealth Health Organisation suffered the largest breach in the healthcare industry, with 697,800 records reported as compromised.
Allyson Kuegel, customer security assurance analyst at Citrix, said: “These figures show that despite organisations and individuals being more vigilant, businesses are facing more challenges than ever before as individuals exploit any possible vulnerability they can.
“In the technological era, people are more willing than ever to supply data, whether it is on personal social media accounts or through transactions they make. It is not just online where companies face potential problems, but also in ensuring their own organisations invest in the latest software and have effective internal protocols.
“The battle against cybercrime and data breaches will continue for a long time as hackers look to keep one step ahead of the latest security services.”