After 2015 Mega-Breaches, Health Plans Dodge Major Cyberattacks — But Threats Remain

Data breaches have been pummeling health care organizations in recent years, and 2023 has proven no exception. But the largest number of breaches — as well as the ones affecting the most people — do not appear to be occurring at health plans lately. Industry experts tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that this is largely because U.S. health insurers have taken significant steps to shore up their cybersecurity defenses since a massive data breach roiled three Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated plans in 2015.

However, industry experts point out that even the most robust security protocols can’t prevent every attack — particularly as hackers get smarter. What’s more, soon-to-be-implemented federal regulations will ratchet up timely breach-reporting requirements on publicly traded companies.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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