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External Threats Outpace Insider-Related Breaches in Healthcare

Jessica Davis

The number of confirmed data breaches in the healthcare sector substantially increased last year, as external threats exceeded the number of insider-related incidents for one of the first times, according to the latest Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).

For its 2020 DBIR, Verizon researchers analyzed a total of 3,950 data breaches across 16 sectors and four global regions, along with 157,525 security incidents (of which 32,002 met its quality standards). Researchers noted they focused on confirmed data breaches, rather than other incident reports.

For healthcare, there were 798 security incidents and 521 confirmed data breaches in 2019, compared to 304 incidents in the previous year. While miscellaneous insider errors, privilege misuse, and web applications were the leading causes 2018 healthcare data breaches, external threats outpaced insiders in this year’s report.

In fact, 51 percent of healthcare data breaches were caused by external actors, and insider-related breaches fell to...

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