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Critical Insight H1 2023 report - record 40 million individuals exposed in healthcare cyber breaches

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | August 23, 2023 Cyber Security Health IT
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Critical Insight, the Cybersecurity-as-a-Service provider specializing in helping critical organizations Prepare, Detect, and Respond in today’s threat environment, today announced the launch of its H1 2023 Healthcare Data Cyber Breach Report. In this report, Critical Insight builds on its biannual analysis of data breaches reported by healthcare organizations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Critical Insight unveils the state of cybersecurity in the healthcare industry and its complex dynamics through a comprehensive analysis of current cyber threats. Notably, the report revealed a decrease in total breaches but an increase in the number of individuals affected; the focus of attacks on the supply chain and third-party associates; and, particularly noteworthy, the shift in some attackers' strategies from encryption to extortion.

“The results of this analysis support the hypothesis that cybercriminals are continually evolving their tactics to minimize risk and maximize the return on effort,” said Mike Hamilton, Founder and CISO at Critical Insight. “Focusing on business associates that perform a service for covered entities should give all these providers pause. Fines, additional regulatory scrutiny, class actions, and enforcement of the false claims act will affect these organizations for years.”

While the first six months of the year saw an encouraging decrease in the overall number of data breaches impacting healthcare organizations, it was overshadowed by large-scale breaches resulting in a significant increase in the number of individuals affected, which reached record levels. The report found that 2023 is on pace to break the record for individuals affected by breaches.

Critical Insight's analysis of breach data supplied to HHS reveals the following key findings.

Breach Numbers Decrease: Total breaches dropped 15% in the first six months of 2023 compared to the second half of 2022, which is a positive trend considering the steady increase in attacks over the past few years. The reduced number of breaches in the first half of this year suggests that the overall number may be lower for the entire year. This year is on track to record the fewest breaches since 2019 and experience fewer provider breaches compared to the previous three years.

Exposed Records Increase: Individual records compromised in data breaches surged by 31% in 1H 2023 compared to 2H 2022. Despite declining over the latest reporting period, the number of individuals affected increased from 31M in 2H 2022 to 40M in 1H 2023. With the first half of this year at 40 million, the number in just a six-month reporting period is already 74% of the total number of individuals affected in 2022, representing the highest number on record for six months.

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