HIPAA Breaches Rise by 56% during First Four Months of 2021

The HIPAA breaches reported during April 2021 show a huge increase in the number of data breaches recorded from January to April 2021 compared with the same period in 2020.

The amount of HIPAA breach cases recorded during this period has risen by 56% to 201, up from 145 cases in 2020. The increase in the number of records impacted is even more staggering with a 243% increase from 3,266,575 to 11,198,242.

This is further evidence that cybercriminals are increasing their efforts to infiltrate healthcare practices and organizations of all sizes. The current figures mean that the 12-month average of HIPAA breaches being reported per month is 51.

Causes of HIPAA Breaches During April 2021

A review of the main causes of healthcare data breaches during April shows that hacking/IT incidents account for 42 of the reported incidents and more than 1.7m of the records breached during the month.

Unauthorized access/disclosures were responsible for 17 reported incidents and 358,870 impacted records while loss and theft incidents accounted for just three reported incidents and 4,500 impacted records.



The 62 breaches during April impacted 2,583,117 healthcare records. This is a slight drop from March’s 2,913,084 figure, though it increases the 12-month average to 2,867,243 breached records per month.

Some 34.4 million healthcare records have now been breached in the past 12 months, 11.2 million of which were breached in the first four months of 2021.

All of this is a clear indication that healthcare workers must be aware of their responsibilities under HIPAA to avoid breaches occurring. Training, for example, could help staff to recognize spam emails containing malware and ransomware and prevent cybercriminals from gaining a foothold on your databases and networks. Training will also reduce the number of unauthorized access breaches.

HIPAA Training Preventing HIPAA Breaches

Providing new and existing members of staff with a regular, high-quality, detailed, practical and up-to-date HIPAA training is the best strategy to deal with the threat posed by cybercriminal attacks and unauthorized access.

ComplianceJunction HIPAA training provides practical learning summaries at the end of each training module, real world examples of HIPAA breaches to give a clearer understanding of HIPAA obligations and quiz questions at the end of each module to ensure that the subject matter is being properly understood by healthcare staff.

The training is modular and can be customised based on the specific needs of your organization, ensuring that you are getting the most out of your investment in your staff and cybersecurity.

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