The Identity Theft Resource Center reports show that compromised data stores from healthcare organizations far outstrip other verticals this year. According to figures updated last week, healthcare organizations have disclosed 119 breaches so far this year, more than three times the 39 breaches suffered by the financial services industry. Though many of these breaches aren’t necessarily caused directly by unauthorized access or hacking of healthcare databases, some experts believe that the high numbers are due to lax handling of how data is stored and accessed within these databases. This atmosphere, along with the extreme portability of healthcare data due to consumer devices and laptops and increasing numbers of malicious insiders seeking to profit from electronic medical records (EMRs) and other patient data, has formed a poisonous combination within the industry. One of the biggest issues healthcare organizations face in regards to database security is the issue of what happens to data once it gets outside of the database. The patterns behind many of this year’s biggest healthcare breaches seem to corroborate experts’ worries. Some of the most frequent causes behind breaches in 2010 and in recent memory are lost and stolen laptops as well as back-up tapes, hard drives, and other portable media.
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