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Average cost of healthcare data breach reaches $11M

How can healthcare organizations protect themselves?

Healthcare continues to be the most expensive industry for data breaches, with costs increasing 53% since 2020, according to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute. In fact, the average cost of a healthcare data breach reached a whopping $11 million this year, and the number of healthcare data breaches have been on the rise nearly every year since 2009.

Hacking incidents, in particular, have skyrocketed as hospitals are profitable targets for ransomware, where criminals demand payment in exchange for returning access to critical data. And while the prevalence of healthcare data breaches continues to rise with no end in sight, one report suggests a third of healthcare employees said they have yet to receive cybersecurity training from their workplace.

Why is cybersecurity awareness training so critical?

Despite having best-in-class defense systems and measures in place, many healthcare organizations still experience security breaches. The truth is that human error is often the most common contributing factor behind many data breaches. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, more than 80% of breaches involved human error.

Cybersecurity awareness training educates employees about how to identify potential threats and respond appropriately. This awareness empowers a workforce with the knowledge and resources to identify and flag potential threats before they cause any damage. By educating workers on best practices for prevention, healthcare organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. Providing cybersecurity awareness training to employees on a regular basis is a proactive approach to reducing potential threats and ensuring the security of sensitive patient information.

What should be included in cybersecurity awareness training?

Cybersecurity training should include a variety of topics, such as email phishing, password security, social engineering, malware, understanding HIPAA- privacy and security rules, and safeguarding sensitive information. 

Furthermore, not conducting cybersecurity awareness training regularly can have serious consequences, such as legal penalties, financial loss and cost of remediation, loss of intellectual property, damaged reputation, and loss of patient trust.

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