Hacking is only 8%

Mysterious Internet hackers from China or Russia are frightening but account for only a small percentage of reported data breaches. The office of Health and Human Services maintains an online listing of all reported medical dental data breaches in the US.  This web page often referred to as “The Wall of Shame” lists every reported breach affecting 500 or more individuals broken down to the following six types of breach:

Theft                                                     50%

Unauthorized Disclosure                  16%

Loss                                                       12%

Hacking                                                  8%

Improper Disposal                              4%

Unknown                                              2%

(The percentages are approximate and some incidences have multiple breach types listed.)

Of course this means that 92% of reported data breaches are not hacks. In fact almost two thirds 62% are either lost or stolen computers. For the most part the data in these stolen computers is never used nevertheless OCR considers it a breach.

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