Nearly 5,000 healthcare data breaches
have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights between 2009 and June 2022, resulting in the exposure of over 342 million health records, HealthITSecurity
Comparitech researchers found that almost 20% of the reported breaches happened in 2020, which may be linked to the sector's prioritization of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 2021 and 2019 had the second-, and third-highest number of breaches, respectively, signifying the growing threat of data breaches in healthcare.
Meanwhile, California had the highest number of health breaches since 2009, followed by Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois. However, Illinois had the most exposed health records due to the Anthem breach in 2015, which was the largest data breach during the study period, impacting 78.8 million records.
With reporting confined to individual breaches impacting more than 500 records, the severity of healthcare data breaches may still be underestimated, said Comparitech.