Small organizations, including physician practices, represented the largest number of data breaches in 2011, according to Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report.
The report examined 855 breaches across the globe that accounted for 174 million compromised records in 2011. The analysis found that cyber criminals are responsible for a large number of breaches globally, and small organizations are considered easy targets.
One of the reasons breaches at small health care organizations are on the rise is that automated attacks searching for remote Internet access services combined with weak passwords “were successful against smaller health care businesses, such as physicians’ offices and clinics,” said Marc Spitler, senior risk analyst of RISK Intelligence for Verizon.
The report said 97% of the crimes could have been avoided through simple or intermediate security controls.