In a study of all cyber attacks and data breaches that was officially reported in 2013, the Identity Theft Resource Center found that the health-care sector had the most attacks.
Health care companies and organizations had 267 data breaches in 2013. These data breaches consists of patients identities being stolen or accessed by hackers. The health care industry suffered 43 percent of all cyber attacks in 2013.
The business sector reported 201 cyber attacks in 2013, or 34 percent of major breaches.
Government and military branches reported 63 breaches, educational institutions reported 56 breaches, and the banking, credit cards and other financial institutions reported 23 data breaches, or 3.7 percent of the total.
In all, over 57 million records containing essential identity information was breached in 2013.
Most of the health care beaches took place at hospitals and insurance providers. The health care records of patients are a popular target for hackers due to the many different ways that information can be used. From basic social security numbers to being able to buy prescription drugs, the data is readily available for sale on black market forums.
Medical identity theft caused victims to lose up to $12 Billion in 2012.
Source: Amrita Jayakumar, “Cyberattacks are on the rise. And health-care data is the biggest target,” Washington Post, Wonkblog, February 5, 2014.