Report Shows Hacking Attacks on Healthcare Providers Increased 320% in 2016; Identifies Ransomware as Prominent Threat to Hospitals
Austin, TX, February 15, 2017— CynergisTek™, an Auxilio company (NYSE MKT: AUXO), and industry leader in health information privacy, compliance and cybersecurity, today announced the release of Redspin’s annual cybersecurity report titled, Breach Report 2016: Protected Health Information (PHI). The seventh annual report provides in-depth analysis of the causes of PHI breaches reported to the Department of Health and Human Services and the overall state of cybersecurity in healthcare.
On January 31, 2017, Auxilio acquired CynergisTek. Under the terms of the deal, CynergisTek will continue to operate as an independent entity and Redspin, acquired by Auxilio in 2015, became part of the CynergisTek portfolio.
The report revealed a 320 percent increase in the number of healthcare providers victimized by hackers in 2016, and that 81 percent of records breached in 2016 resulted from hacking attacks specifically. Additionally, 2016 marked the first time a U.S. hospital had been the victim of ransomware, defined as a type of malware that encrypts data and holds it hostage until a ransom demand is met. While several large healthcare organizations were targeted by hackers in 2016, the majority of attacks occurred at smaller clinics.
“Healthcare providers have become the primary targets of malicious hackers, and their attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and disruptive to operations,” said Dan Berger, Vice President at CynergisTek. “The dramatic increase in hacking attacks in 2016, coupled with the large number of patient records compromised in those incidents, points to a pressing need for providers to take a much more proactive and comprehensive approach to protecting their information assets in 2017 and beyond.”
Additional findings of the 2016 Breach Report include:
- 325 large breaches of PHI, compromising 16,612,985 individual patient records
- 3,620,000 breached patient records in the year’s single largest incident
- 40 percent of large breach incidents involved unauthorized access/disclosure
“By absorbing Redspin, we created a group of cybersecurity subject matter experts unmatched in the industry,” said Mac McMillan, CEO of CynergisTek. “The findings of this report demonstrate that specialized knowledge is required to combat the growing threat that cyberattacks present to healthcare, and by leveraging our new resources we can deliver that level of expertise on a much larger scale.”
The report also includes a summary of HIPAA enforcement activities announced in 2016 and concludes with recommendations for strengthening privacy and security controls at healthcare organizations. The full report can be downloaded at http://cynergistek.com/2016-breach-report/.
To learn more, stop by booths #2093 and #1734 at the HIMSS Annual Conference from February 20–23 in Orlando where Dan Berger will be presenting the report findings. To schedule a meeting with a CynergisTek executive at the conference, please contact Chanel Benoit at [email protected].
CynergisTek, an Auxilio company, (www.cynergistek.com) is a top-ranked cybersecurity and privacy consulting firm. The company offers solutions to help organizations measure privacy and security programs against regulatory requirements and assists in developing risk management best practices. Since 2004 the company has served as a partner to hundreds in the healthcare industry and is dedicated to supporting and educating the industry by contributing to relevant industry associations. The company has been named in numerous research reports as one of the top firms that provider organizations turn to for privacy and security, and won the 2017 Best in KLAS award for Cyber Security Advisory Services.
Auxilio (www.auxilioinc.com) provides complete document workflow solutions and IT security services to healthcare organizations across the United States. Auxilio has helped its clients save more than $80 million since 2004 by providing Print as a Service (PRaaS) vendor neutral solutions which lower costs, improve operational efficiency and enhance security. Auxilio’s intelligent workflow automation suite delivers a customer driven approach transforming printed documents to digital workflows, reducing waste and driving additional savings opportunities. Auxilio serves a national portfolio of nearly 220 hospital campuses and manages over 1.5 billion documents annually from over 90,000 devices supporting over 280,000 caregivers.
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