Cybersecurity—and the lack thereof—continues to loom large over healthcare. The pace of data breaches continues to rise with hackers targeting providers, health plans and business associates. Through the end of October 2018, there have been 306 breaches this year, up 2.7% over the same period the year before.
Part of the problem is how rapidly technology is advancing. "The technology keeps changing, so the security keeps changing," David Finn, Cynergistek's executive vice president of strategic innovation, told Modern Healthcare at the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives' annual Fall CIO Forum.
Every month, Modern Healthcare will update the breaches that have been reported to HHS' Office for Civil Rights. In the 29 data breaches reported in October, more than 2 million people's health data were breached. That's up drastically from the 71,377 records reached in October 2017.
The largest breach in October 2018 occurred at the Employees Retirement System of Texas, a health plan, where 1.2 million records were exposed in a breach classified as "unauthorized access/disclosure."
The most common reason records were exposed in October 2018 was because of hacking/IT incidents, followed by unauthorized access/disclosure. Hacking/IT incidents were up year over year 77%.