5 largest data breaches in 2015

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Unsecure security lock leads to data breach

Data breaches has been a recurring theme in the past year. These type of breaches are getting larger and more hazardous for the victims. This post will recap the 5 largest data breaches of 2015.

According to the recent report by the  nonprofit organization, Identity Theft Resource Center, the number of data breaches this year totaled 690, down 2.5% from the previous year. However, it believed that the actual number of incidents this year is actually higher due to delayed reporting or businesses not aware that their system has been compromised. The five largest data breaches sums up to 176.2 million compromised records, exposing financial, healthcare, and personal data.

  1. Anthem Inc.-78.8 million records were compromised. The health insurer believed that the cyberattack occurred in January. Anthem believes that current and former records were affected.
  2. U.S. Office of Personnel Management- More than 25 million records were compromised. Not only was the U.S. Office of Personnel Management hacked once, but twice in one year. Social security numbers and background information of employees were stolen.
  3. T-Mobile/Experian-15 million records were compromised. Credit reporting bureau, Experian, learned that there was an unauthorized access to a T-Mobile data house server. The attacked exposed personal information such as names, social security number, and date of birth. Luckily, no financial records were exposed.
  4. Premera Blue Cross-11 million records were exposed. Another healthcare attack. Premera is currently facing lawsuits claiming that it was negligent in preventing the cyber attack.
  5. Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield /Lifetime Healthcare Companies- 10 million records were compromised. The attack was due to unauthorized access to Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield technology systems. Furthermore, the attack occurred as early as December of 2013.

The interesting thing to note here is that 3 of the top 5 data breaches were in the healthcare sector. Which does not surprise me given the how far behind the healthcare industry is in cyber security and the value of healthcare data. I went into more detail about this in a previous blog. These attacks goes to show that, cyber security is still catching up to cyber attackers and the attacks are not slowing down.

With Paubox, healthcare providers can take a step in the right direction by obtaining encrypted HIPAA compliant email. Encrypting your emails seamlessly is not only recommended, but it should be mandatory considering the nature of cyber attacks in healthcare thees days.

This post was originally written on this blog.

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About the author

Phuong Tran

Phuong Tran is a Carnegie Mellon University-Heinz College graduate with a degree in healthcare policy and management. In his spare time he enjoys discovering new restaurants and playing basketball.

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