What is the cost of a health care data breach in the US?

According to the Breach Level Index, every day about 5.1 million records are lost or stolen worldwide. This translates to about 59 records per second. There are also many undiscovered data breaches, for example on the dark web or on data servers. These breaches are capable of disrupting company operations, plummeting stock prices, and damaging reputations; data breaches cost tons of money.

Cost per stolen record in health care is significantly higher than average

The 2017 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study interviewed a total of 1,900 individuals from 419 companies in 13 counties or regions. The report found that the average company cost of a data breach was $3.62 million, and the average cost for each compromised record containing sensitive or personably identifiable information was $141.

Cost per lost or stolen record by industry
Health care $380
Financial services $245
Media $119
Research $101
Public sector $71

Heavily regulated industries consistently experience higher data breach costs. Two out of the past three years, the cost of a stolen health care record was more than twice the cost of the global average:

  • 2015 – $363 per stolen record; global average was $217
  • 2016 – $355 per stolen record; global average was $158
  • 2017 – $380 per stolen record; global average was $141

However, a significantly greater number of consumers still trust their health care provider (88%) and payer (82%) to secure their health care data over health technology companies (57%) or the government (56%).

Protecting consumer data is vital to your organization

Implementing data breach prevention and detection measures is not cheap, but not taking the necessary precautions can result in more expensive recovery costs. HIPAA’s Security Rule mandates that covered entities have a disaster recovery plan in place, along with a data backup plan and an emergency mode operation plan. According to the Ponemon report, incident response plans, encryption, employee training, and data loss prevention technologies can all help to reduce data breach expenses.

According to a study commissioned by Centrify, 66% of respondents are likely to stop doing business with a company that has suffered a data breach. IT Governance is offering a free green paper, Cybersecurity – A critical business issue, to help you understand why cybersecurity is critical to your organization’s survival.

Download Cybersecurity – A critical business issue to discover how to prepare your organization for a data breach >>.