Fortune 500 multi-line health insurer Centene Corp. was rocked by its late January discovery of six missing hard drives containing healthcare records of nearly one million individuals. The lost hard disks contained a wealth of sensitive information about the company’s customers including birthdates, Social Security numbers, full names, addresses and member ID numbers.
An Escalating Problem
Many saw this data breach as a sign of an ongoing issue in the healthcare industry, which is a significant target for cybercriminals looking to steal valuable data. A full healthcare profile can sell for as much as $500 on the black market, according to a recent NPR study, and the Identify Theft Resource Center (ITRC) announced that over 120 million individual records were compromised in 2015.
The comprehensive levels of data that healthcare organizations collect and record on individuals is another factor that puts these businesses at risk. A single provider may have full medical history, credit information, past residences and more on file