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The Increasing Risk that Social Media Brings to Data Breaches

In a recent, Breach Level Index report it was revealed that just in the first six months of 2018, 56% of the 4.5 billion data records that were compromised were from social media incidents. With 27% of all breach incidents being in the health care industry!

According to Gemalto’s Breach Level Index report that was published in 2018, “during the first six months of 2018, more than 25 million records were compromised or exposed every day, or 291 records every second, including medical, credit card and/or financial data or personally identifiable information.”

Types of Social Media Breaches

According to the report, the United States is still the biggest target with over 59% of total breaches and over 72% of compromised records. The report provided some rather alarming statistics regarding the types of incidents:

  • Identity Theft led the way with a total of 65% of incidents
  • 17% of incidents resulted in Account Access
  • 13% resulted in Financial Access

Source of Incidents

The number of breach Incidents by source, according to the report:

  • 56% - Malicious outsider
  • 34%  - Accidental Loss
  • 7%  - Malicious Insider
  • 2% - Hacktivist

What else can we learn from their report?  

It starts with security – less than 3% of breaches were “Secure Breaches” where encryption rendered the stolen data useless. We understand encryption isn’t the only option, but it is often considered the preferred option when it comes to security. 

Here is a list of 10 cybersecurity tips in healthcare that can help you in your efforts, and reduce the risk of you or your organization experiencing a social media data breach:

  1. Establish a security culture
  2. Protect mobile devices
  3. Maintain good computer habits
  4. Use a firewall
  5. Install and use an anti-virus product
  6. Plan for the unexpected
  7. Control access to personally identifiable information 
  8. Use strong passwords
  9. Limit network access
  10. Control physical access

The healthcare industry is one of the biggest targets for cybercriminals, and research indicates that even well-meaning computer users can often be their own worst enemies. This is because we often fail to follow basic safety principles. By following some basic principles, we can prevent a breach of our data on social media networks.   

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