In 2021 more than 40 million patient records were compromised, according to the federal government, and new breaches continue to grow, as seen on this database maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights.

Part of the attraction for criminals is that healthcare data — electronic health records, in particular — sell for as much as $1,000 on the dark web, a platform where cybercriminals buy, sell, and trade illicit data and services. The pandemic also made healthcare a prime target for ransomware. Beleaguered providers often paid to restore access to their systems and data because they didn’t have the security resources or the time to obtain them with patient care on the line.

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