Health Data Breaches Cost More To Remediate Than in Other Sectors

May 29, 2015 in News

Data breaches involving health care organizations are the costliest to remediate and the cost is increasing, according to a study released this week by the Ponemon Institute, Modern Healthcare reports.

Details of Study

For the fifth-annual study, researchers analyzed the cost of data breaches across 16 industries (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 5/28).

The study includes data from 350 companies (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 5/28). The researchers in 2014 examined data from:

  • Australia;
  • Brazil;
  • Canada;
  • France;
  • Germany;
  • India;
  • Italy;
  • Japan;
  • Saudi Arabia;
  • United Arab Emirates;
  • The United Kingdom; and
  • The U.S. (Ponemon Institute study, May 2015).

Study Findings

The researchers found that worldwide, the cost of a health care data breach is $363 per exposed personally identifiable record. In comparison, data breaches cost an average of $154 per exposed record across all industries.

In the U.S., a health care data breach costs an average of $398 per exposed record (Modern Healthcare, 5/28).

In addition, the researchers noted that 47% of breaches in the latest study were by criminal or malicious attackers, up from 42% in the previous year (Ponemon Institute study, May 2015).


Chris White, senior lead engineer of commercial data protection services at Booz Allen Hamilton, said the findings are unsurprising, as medical record information can sell for 10 times the price of personally identifiable information from other industries. He said, “A lot of it has to do with the depth of information that can be gleaned from” medical records.

In addition, White called it a “logical leap” for attackers to move to health care because the industry lagged behind other industries in the adoption of IT but has seen an increase in technology use in recent years (Modern Healthcare, 5/28).

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