News & Press

2024 Breach Barometer Report: 171M Patient Records Breached Last Year

A wake up call for healthcare privacy and security leaders as the latest Breach Barometer discloses a concerning 187% increase in patient record breaches during 2023.

Over 171 million patient records were breached in 2023 according to a new report released today, the Protenus Breach Barometer®. Published by Protenus, a leading healthcare compliance analytics company that protects patient data for the nation’s leading health systems, the annual Breach Barometer report is the industry’s definitive source for health data breach reporting review.

 The alarming figures in the 2024 Breach Barometer Report, analyzing data incidents of the previous year, unveil staggering statistics impacting health organizations in every state.  Findings from the report include insights into key areas such as:

  • Predominance of hacking incidents, significantly inflating the count of patient records breached.
  • Unauthorized access, including insiders represents 93% of the cause of reported incidents, underscoring the persistent and discrete operational disruptions.
  • Escalated financial ramifications for breached entities, facing more severe penalties and settlements.

Healthcare entities continue to endure the highest costs associated with data breaches, above all other sectors. In reviewing the 2024 Breach Barometer Report, it's evident that hospital leaders, patient privacy and compliance experts, as well as data security mavens, must unify to elevate protection mechanisms and procedures. As such, the report advocates for enhanced compliance privacy policies and education, adoption of AI-driven technology to help proactively mitigate risk, and accentuates a desperate cry for fortified cyber resilience, crucial to defending the sensitivity of patient information.

Nick Culbertson, Protenus CEO and Co-founder states, "Today's privacy and security leaders face the challenge of defending against external threats like hackers and internal risks from insider unauthorized access. Their responsibility includes ensuring data access is restricted to authorized individuals, supported by robust perimeter defenses and a culture of compliance." 

Protenus works closely with our customers to cultivate optimal strategies, utilizing AI to proactively detect irregular access patterns - monitoring every access, every record, every day. This approach helps to safeguard the privacy of their patients more effectively." -Nick Culbertson, Protenus CEO and Co-founder

Discover insights from the report's findings, based on aggregated data and expert analyses provided within. Healthcare organizations must take prompt actions to bolster their institution's defenses against privacy threats, big and small. To download the full report, or for more information, please visit

Incidents included in the analyses for this report were compiled and analyzed by, with additional research and analyses provided by Protenus.

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To inquire further about the report's data collection or analyses, please reach out to

About Protenus

Protenus harnesses the power of AI to provide healthcare organizations with scalable risk-reduction solutions that drive the safest patient outcomes while protecting the reputation of the organizations. We are committed to innovation, determined to reduce risk, and focused on supporting our community of employees, customers, and ultimately, patients. Empowering healthcare to eliminate risk is at the heart of all we do. Founded in 2014, Protenus was awarded Best in KLAS for both patient privacy monitoring and drug diversion surveillance solutions two years in a row (2023-2024), is a three-time winner of Forbes’ America’s Best Startup Employers, is a Great Place to Work®-Certified company, was named one of 2021 CBInsights Digital Health 150, one of The Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare, and one of the Best Places to Work in Baltimore by the Baltimore Business Journal and the Baltimore Sun. Learn more at and follow us on X (Twitter) @Protenus.


Michelle Del Guercio, Chief Marketing Officer