Healthcare became the most frequently targeted industry for cyberattacks in 2015, according to a new analysis released by IBM X-Force.
Dubbing 2015 “the year of the healthcare breach,” IBM’s analysis revealed over 100 million healthcare records were reportedly compromised, with five of the eight largest data breaches in the industry since 2010 taking place in the first half of 2015.
“Electronic health records fetch a high price on the black market,” IBM’s analysis said. “They typically contain credit card data, email addresses, social security numbers, employment information and medical history records—much of which will remain valid for years, if not decades. Cyber thieves are using that data to launch spear phishing attacks, commit fraud and steal medical identities.”
Healthcare wasn’t ranked in the top five of IBM’s 2014 analysis.
The industry had been ranked no. 1 in similar reports, such as an analysis by Gemalto of data breaches in the first half of 2015, which also said the hack of insurance provider Anthem was the largest breach of the year, exposing nearly 79 million customer records.
The IBM report said the greatest threat to cybersecurity among all industries surveyed remains “insiders”—people with remote access to a company’s data or those able to obtain physical copies of documents containing sensitive information.