According to the 2022 State of Ransomware Report issued recently by Sophos, it surveyed 5,600 IT professionals from 31 countries, including professionals in the health care sector. Those professionals in the health care sector shared that 66 percent of them had experienced a ransomware attack in 2021, which was an increase of 69 percent over 2020. This was the largest increase of all sectors surveyed.

If you look at the Office for Civil Rights data breach portal, you will see that a vast majority of breaches reported by health care providers and business associates are related to “Hacking/IT incident.” This confirms that the health care sector continues to be attacked by threat actors seeking to steal protected health information of patients.

If you are a patient who receives a breach notification letter from a health care provider or business associate, the letter will provide guidance on how to protect yourself following a data breach and may offer some protection guidance, including credit monitoring or fraud resolution. Such a letter has been sent to patients to comply with the breach notification requirements of HIPAA and state law. Part of those requirements includes that the patients be provided mitigation steps following the breach to protect themselves from fraud. Avail yourself of these protections in the event your information is compromised. Take the time to sign up for the mitigation offered. It is clear that these attacks will not subside any time soon.