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The healthcare industry has officially become No. 1 in the world when it comes to the volume of data breaches in the industry, knocking out the financial sector, which fell to third place for this prestigious title, according to IBM X-Force’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index. The five sectors “concerned with the highest volume of violations data” in 2015 were healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, government and transportation. The index, which was released this week, also indicates that their average client company experienced 178 security incidents requiring further investigation in 2015 – a 66 percent increase compared to the 109 that took place in 2014. Further, the financial services sector saw an 80 percent increase in data breaches involving extortion, suggesting that we could begin to see an increase in this among all sectors.

On the bright side, the report notes that in 2015, the company’s clients experienced a 35 percent decrease in security events, which is defined as an “event on a system or network detected by a security device or application.” This also led to a 90 percent decrease in the number of attacks from 12,017 in 2014 to 1,157 in 2015. IBM defined an attack as “malicious activity that is attempting to collect, disrupt, deny, degrade or destroy information system resources or the information itself.”  Lastly, due to better control and analysis tools, IBM decreased the number of false positives pertaining to security event alerts. Ideally, these improvements will allow for IT departments to focus on a fewer number of suspicious events with increased attention, ultimately leading to fewer successful cyber-attacks and data breaches.

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