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Healthcare industry at the heart of most data breaches

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Your privacy is extremely important to us. Read how we handle your data in our Privacy Policy

Healthcare data breaches are the most common – which is unfortunate because of the sensitivity of the information that can often be leaked or hacked.

The NHS has a wealth of information about us. Due to how much information they have on us, data breaches by the NHS can be a major concern. One of the most frustrating things about NHS data leaks is that we are required to share so much of our personal information with them.

Unlike businesses, we arguably have more of an option to how much information we choose to share with them,¬†when it comes to sharing information with the NHS, it’s more out of necessity – we share some of our most personal information with the healthcare industry.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) did a report on data security, and their findings highlighted just how frequent healthcare industry data breaches takes place.

Statistics and trends

Between January and March 2015/2016, healthcare services had 184 data breaches – that’s 141 more breaches than the second highest, which was the local government who had 43. There was a difference of 167 incidents between land and property services who had the lowest data breaches of 17.

The number of data breaches in that year for the healthcare sector peaked at nearly 300 data breaches between July and September before it started to decline to just under 180 from January to March 2016.

The report found that the healthcare sector continues to account for the most data security breaches. This could be due to the NHS making it mandatory to report incidents, or it could be down to the size of the healthcare sector and the sensitivity of the data processed, or perhaps funding problems.

Security incident types

From the data collected, the most common ways in which security data breaches took place were from data posted or faxed to the incorrect recipient (41) and the loss or theft of paperwork (36).

Other ways data was lost was through:

  • 17
    Insecure disposal of paperwork
  • 14
    Data sent by email to incorrect recipient
  • 10
    Failure to reduce data
  • 3
    Failure to reduce data
  • 3
    Information uploaded to webpage
  • 2
    Verbal disclosure
  • 1
    Insecure webpage including hacking
  • 1
    Loss or theft of unencrypted device
  • 1
    Insecure disposal of hardware
  • 58
    Other principle 7 failure

It’s a real issue for anyone to learn that their data has been misused or mishandled. Because of the frequency of healthcare data breaches and the sensitivity of the information involved, we’re often representing people who have to claim as a result of a healthcare data breach.

Know your rights

If you have suffered as a result of the healthcare data breach then we can help you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for some free and no obligation advice about your rights.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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Your privacy is extremely important to us. Information on how we handle your data is in our Privacy Policy.
You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data.

First published by Matthew on August 24, 2016
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