More than 32 million patient records were infringed between January and June 2019. That is more than double the 15 million medical records violated in all of 2018, says healthcare analytics firm Protenus. According to the company, the variety of exposed incidents surged to 285 within the first half of the year, and the longstanding inclination of at the least one health data breach per day shows no indications of slowing down.
The Protenus’ 2019 Mid-Year Breach Barometer Report discovered that 60 % of all breaches were due to hacking, including the single colossal violation. In that incident, hackers aimed a medical collections agency and obtained the info of approx 20 million patients, including those who’d used Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. Their data was seen for sale on the dark web.
Patient records aren’t the only sensitive info drifting around on the web. This week, Los Angeles warned that a breach might have leaked data on 20,000 police officers and applicants. The Bulgarian government is dealing with a significant data breach that may have affected five million people in a country of seven million. And TrickBot malware may have hacked 250 million email accounts — together with millions belonging to governments within the US, UK, and Canada. These are just some examples of the many recent incidents.
Whereas data breaches may feel all too frequent, the speed at which they’re growing, especially within the medical world, is the trigger for an alert. Just a few years in the past, we were surprised when researchers reported that 29 million patient records were breached over four years. Now, we exceed that in six months.