Data breach costs for health care providers climbing rapidly, study finds

While cybersecurity is a critical issue for organizations in every industry, it is very possible that no sector is more concerned with data protection than health care. Protected Health Information is a valuable commodity on the Web-based black market, and cybercriminals are eager to utilize every resource at their disposal to get ahold of these assets. From a health care provider’s perspective, the threat of a data breach is very real, and the potential consequences can be devastating.

The Ponemon Institute’s 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study highlighted just how costly data breaches can be in the health care sector. Considering these numbers, it’s clear to see that health care providers should invest more heavily in data security measures that can prevent these outcomes.

Data breach costs
As the Ponemon report made clear, data breach costs vary significantly from industry to industry. For example, the per-capita cost for a data breach was $135 for the hospitality sector and $252 for transportation. The pharmaceutical industry experienced the second-highest penalty, with each exposed record costing organizations $298. Among all the surveyed firms, the average cost was $217 per capita.

However, the costs for all of these industries paled in comparison to the health care sector. According to Ponemon, the per capita cost of a data breach in this sector reached $398 – almost twice the average across all industries.

In one year’s time, the cost of a data breach for health care providers rose more than 25%.”

Making matters worse, the previous year’s Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study found that the health care sector’s per capita cost of a data breach was still higher than any other industry’s, at $316. This means that in one year’s time, the cost of a data breach for health care providers has risen more than 25 percent.

The overall average cost per exposed record was also lower in 2014, registering at $201. This suggests that data breach costs are rising across the board, which will hurt health care providers the most.

Breaches rising
It’s important to note that in addition to the cost, health care breaches are also shockingly common in the health care industry – a fact that ID Experts and many other Twitter users often highlight.

To avoid becoming part of this trend, health care IT Service Delivery teams need to take proactive steps with PHI found in Service Desk support tickets. One of the simplest and most effective options for hospitals is to embrace Protected Data Compliance modules. These remove PHI from service desk tickets, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to access that data – keeping it out of the wrong hands.

Any care provider interested in this technology should turn to Aptris. Aptris is the only ServiceNow partner offering a tool that addresses the issue of PHI within IT service and support tickets. By implementing our solutions, hospitals can take a powerful step forward to better protect themselves from the risk of experiencing a devastating data breach.