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Preventing cybersecurity breaches. Cyberattacks cost U.S. companies $15 million annually and no business is immune to the risk. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Last year, the health care industry saw several major hacking attacks that affected the records of millions of Americans. Cyber thieves successfully gained unauthorized access to customer data with techniques as simple as sending a link in an email, costing the industry money and public trust.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the U.S. medical and healthcare sector experienced roughly 336 data breaches as of Nov. 29, 2017, which represents 28 percent of the total 1,202 breaches. That equates to 4.93 million records exposed, or 2.9 percent of the total 172 billion records that were exposed in 2017.  Insurance companies are just as susceptible.

Managing the risk

On average, cyberattacks cost U.S. businesses $15 million each year, and they target businesses of all shapes and sizes. Interestingly, 33 percent of documented data breaches occur in businesses with less than 100 employees, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, and approximately 60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months after the attack.

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