Survey: 8% of healthcare groups say they've been hacked in the last year

April 16, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

A survey of healthcare CIOs, IT directors and other leaders reports that 8% said their organization was hacked in the last 12 months.

data encryption and cybersecurity illustration

In a recently released survey of 200 healthcare chief information officers, health information technology directors and other leaders, 8% said their data had been hacked in the last year, representing a small but notable threat to patient and hospital data security.

Loss or theft of sensitive patient medical records and hospital data makes headlines around the country, creating momentum around boosting security and data encryption, but there's still a "long way to go," according to the report.

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"Technology is changing all the time, [and we're] getting different kinds of attacks that we need to protect against," according to San Diego-based Sharp Healthcare CIO Bill Spooner. "We have to continue to raise our game just in the same way that hackers are raising theirs."

The most common form of information breach was a fax or mailer that had been misdirected, representing 40% of all data security incidents, but "insider attacks" such as identity theft or "record snooping" affected nearly 1/3 of organizations as well. Only 35% of those surveyed said they hadn't had any breaches in the last 12 months, but security experts warned that the reported breach numbers are likely low.