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A Brief Report on Data Breaches in U.S. Healthcare. What, Why, and How?

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Research Paper (postgraduate) from the year 2015 in the subject Medicine - Public Health, grade: 1, Northeastern University of Boston, language: English, abstract: Data breaches in U.S. healthcare have become ubiquitous with modern hackers honing in on healthcare data due to its lucrative economic value. Cyber crooks regard medical identity theft as 'The triple crown of stolen data' as it's worth more than a Social Security Number or credit card number in the internet black market. The black market rate for each partial EHR is $50 as compared to $1 for a stolen Social Security Number or credit card number. With 44% of data breaches that healthcare organizations contribute to, this report analyzes for the evolving security measures and trends in the healthcare industry to protect data from cyber crooks. An infographic study was carried out to explore the ways by which data is lost, states accounting the most and least number of medical data breaches, and the location of breached information. Outcome of this infographics study is expected to pave the way for possibility of future research and scholarly debate. Potential of cloud computing in healthcare has been taken into account and was analyzed for its benefits of adoption and use, obstacles, and its forecast in the near future. At the outset, this report is a snapshot of U.S. healthcare's defensive preparation and strategy against the level of cyber-attacks that will be coming at them, statistical analysis on types of breach impacting healthcare organizations the most, state-wise percentage analysis of medical data breach, and cloud computing as a defensive solution to protect the data from cyber-attacks, and insider threat - disgruntled employees and patient-record snoopers.