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Report: Two-Thirds of all Breaches Resulted from Laptops, Portable Devices

February 10, 2011
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Redspin, a Carpinteria, Calif.-based provider of HIPAA risk analysis and IT security assessment services, released an analysis of all protected health information breaches publicly recorded between August 2009 and the end of 2010, as per the interim final breach notification of the HITECH Act. The findings were based on 225 security breaches affecting 6,067,751 individuals.

Redspin's analysis focuses on single breaches affecting more than 500 people. Such large scale breaches must be reported on a timely basis to individuals, the media and the HHS Secretary according to the HHS Office of Civil Rights' regulations. The regulations also require business associates of covered entities to notify the covered entity of such breaches at or by the business associate.

Selected findings from the report include:
• 43 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico have suffered at least one breach affecting over 500 individuals.
• ~27,000 individuals, on average, are affected by a breach.
• 78 percent of all records breached are the result of 10 incidents, five of which are the result of theft of common storage media e.g. desktop computers, network servers, and portable devices.
• 61 percent of breaches are a result of malicious intent.
• ~66,000 individuals, on average, are affected by a single breach of portable media.
• 40 percent of records breached involved business associates.


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