Healthcare Data Breach: What Happens to Stolen Healthcare Data?

Year after year, data breaches are becoming an increasingly critical issue for the healthcare industry. Nearly 32 million records have been exposed through June of this year alone —more than double the number for 2018.

“Health information is a treasure trove for criminals,” Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer of Carbon Black, tells HealthTech. “By compromising it, by stealing it, by having it sold, you have seven to 10 personal identifying characteristics of an individual.”

It’s no surprise, then, that the high value of medical records on the dark web has surpassed that of social security and credit card numbers. These records can sell for up to $1,000 online, depending on the completeness of the information contained within, according to Experian.

Despite this seemingly high profitability, the reality remains that cybercriminals typically seek more nefarious outcomes from a breach, which poses the larger question: What happens to stolen medical records once they’re in the hands of a cybercriminal?


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