2023 US data breaches topped 171M records, up 187% versus 2022: Protenus Breach Barometer

2023’s US healthcare data breaches hit an all time high, both in reported breaches and number of records affected. Protenus, which publishes an annual Breach Barometer, uses multiple data sources including Health and Human Services’ public breach tool. The numbers are shocking for both:

  • HHS 2023 reported 725 reports and about 135 million records
  • Protenus‘ numbers are significantly higher: 1,161 reports and 171,139,241 breached records. In 2022, the totals were respectively 1,138 reports affecting a total of 59,664,152 breached records. Breached records were up 187% in 2023.

The variance in reporting is due to factors including not knowing the true scope of the breach in reporting to HHS, state reports being incomplete, and business associate reports covering all or only some of their clients.

Also included in their report is a discussion on how HHS through the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) response to breaches contained in HHS’s 2022 annual report released last month. In investigating, they seem to prefer voluntary resolutions and corrective actions. Only three  resolution agreements with monetary penalties and corrective action plans were imposed.

The Protenus Breach Barometer report is available for free download here. DataBreaches.net collaborated with Protenus in the report.

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