On the heels of the recent announcement that medical insurance firm Anthem was breached, we look at the nuance and impact of a medical record breach versus a medical data breach. They are related, but digging through data containing primarily identity information is different than an attack focusing on specific treatment of a specific patient.

If an attacker can harvest name, social security number, phone, address, email and the like, that haul has a much wider potential audience than, say, whether or not a patient underwent a specific medical procedure. A stolen medical record containing a lot of detail may sell for a lot of money, but that market is more specialized than the broader market for general identity data.

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