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Cyber-thieves want your healthcare data

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Wichy)

Every eighth person in England has had their healthcare data breached. This is the conclusion of a new report just released by Accenture. Based on a poll of 1,000 people it said that more than half of all he people who experienced a data breach (56 per cent), were in fact, victims of medical identity theft. 

The report also says that these data breaches are fairly expensive, too. On average, more than three quarters (77 per cent) have had to pay roughly £172 in out-of-pocket costs, per incident. 

Pharmacies are the most usual places where breaches occur. Hospitals, urgent care clinics, physician’s offices and retail clinics follow. 

A third (36 per cent) found out by themselves, or learned ‘passively’, as the report puts it, after seeing what they thought was an error on their health records or credit card statements. 

A fifth was alerted by the organisation that got breached, and 14 per cent were notified by the government. 

It’s mostly medical information that gets stolen (70 per cent of cases), but personal data is also in demand. The data stolen is usually used to commit fraud. 

“Patients must remain more vigilant than ever in keeping track of personal information including credit card statements and health records which could alert them to breaches,” said Aimie Chapple, managing director of Accenture’s UK health practice and client innovation in the UK & Ireland. “Similarly, health organizations must monitor patient information more carefully and remain transparent with those affected in the event of a breach to swiftly resolve the issue without losing consumers to competitors.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Wichy