According to a recent report by Accenture, cyberattacks will cost hospitals $305 billion over the next five years and one in 13 patients will have their healthcare data hacked. A study conducted by the Brookings Institution predicts that one in four data breaches this year will target the healthcare industry.

These statistics probably leave you wondering – why is healthcare data so highly targeted and valuable to cybercriminals? Healthcare records contain immensely valuable information to hackers including social security numbers, home addresses, and patient health history. Cybercriminals are able to sell this data on the black market for a premium.

According to Accenture, another reason why hackers want healthcare data is that foreign governments can use that personal data for future use against key individuals. For example, a foreign government could use the health data of a US government employee to create a phishing email targeted at a specific medical condition they have. Once the user opens the email, malware infects their computer and gives the foreign government an opening to their data.