Health care breaches have exposed more than 343 million patient records since 2009, according to the HHS Office for Civil Rights. In the first half of 2023 alone, the health care sector saw 436 breaches of 500 or more records: 25 of them are now solved while the rest are under investigation.
As the health care sector has increasingly adopted digital services and moved to electronic record keeping, the number of data breaches has been rising since 2015. The median number of patients affected in each breach, which indicates the size of each breach, also increased from 2,300 in 2018 to 7,140 in 2022.
In recent years, some of the biggest breaches targeted health care providers and business associates, such as third-party administrators that assist plans with claims processing or consultants that perform utilization reviews for hospitals. Last year was the first year that business associates suffered more data breaches than any other type of health care entities.