169 million records were compromised in the 781 recorded incidents in 2015. That is more than the population of California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia and North Carolina combined. Numerous companies in a variety of industries were victimized. While the medical and healthcare industry accounted for a staggering two-thirds of all compromises, businesses such as small and large corporations and law firms, suffered the most breaches. So, what exactly happened in 2015? Here is the breakdown of just a few major breaches:
Medical and Healthcare Industry
Of the total breaches, 277 were in the medical/healthcare field, making up 35.5% of the total breaches for the year. More than112 million records have been affected. In February 2015, Anthem, Inc. made history after 78.8 million patient records were exposed. Sensitive information such as names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, health care ID numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and employment information that included income data were contained in these records. The security of personally identifiable/medical information is critical. If patients’ records are altered, patients are at risk of receiving the wrong medication or treatment. Furthermore, this can lead to fatal mistreatment and legal implications for healthcare organizations.
Businesses: Corporations, Law Firms, Hotels & Restaurants (Just to name a few)
In 2015, the business industry in the United States experienced 312 breaches, comprising 40% of the total breaches across all sectors. Therefore, this industry was the most breached in 2015.
Of the 16 million records affected by business breaches in 2015, the September 2015 T-Mobile/Experian breach accounted for 15 million of them. No payment card or banking information was obtained by the hackers, but other sensitive information was reportedly accessed. This included names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, identification numbers (typically a driver’s license, military ID, or passport number) and additional information used in T-Mobile’s credit assessment. Nefarious actors can use this information to their advantage by committing fraud, or identity theft.
What Does this Mean for You?
Information security is crucial to every industry. Whether it is a customer’s payment details, a patient’s personal information, or intellectual property, an organization’s priority is to ensure that sensitive data remains secured. While no industry or company is immune to cyberattacks, there are ways to protect against compromises and reduce the risk of their occurrence. Given the frequency of cyberattacks, why not take precautions and improve cybersecurity in 2016?
WCG has worked with healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical service providers, and businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries. Our primary goal is to reduce our clients’ vulnerability to cybersecurity threats. We offer a vast selection of cutting-edge network and security solutions, in addition to governance, risk management, training and compliance services that are conducted by our elite, certified consulting and technical teams.
Ensure that your organization does not become victim to a major cyberattack this year. Contact us now for assistance, as your security will be our priority.