Report Says Healthcare Insiders Pose Greatest Data Security Threat

A Verizon report suggests that nearly 60% of data security incidents at healthcare organizations are caused by insiders, according to an article on

The “Protected Health Information Data Breach Report” implies that healthcare is the only industry in which internal players are the greatest threat to an organization’s data security.

The study reviewed 1,368 security incidents involving patient medical records in 27 countries. It included confirmed breaches and security incidents in which data was at risk but not confirmed as having been compromised.

Reporter Kristen Rasmussen says employers may take comfort in knowing that not all the internal breaches were malicious. “In fact,” she writes, “human error was the cause in a little more than half of the breaches that featured an internal actor, the study found.”

Financial incentives often drove the malicious incidents because the hackers could use the personal data to effect various types of fraud. The study also found that in some instances the “insiders” were seeking knowledge on the health status of acquaintances or celebrities.