Negligence Regarding Confidential Patient Information Steadily Climbing

The Ponemon Institute, entering the third year of it’s annual benchmark study on patient privacy & data security, has tactfully broken down some of the finer points regarding Healthcare providers and their negligence regarding medical devices containing sensitive patient data. The problem is attributed as a combination of a lack of funding, solutions and expertise across the board. Since the first benchmark, the numbers have only increased, and only 40% believe that they are able to either detect or prevent all patient data loss or theft. The advent of mobile devices, tablets and cloud-based services has undoubtedly change the Security landscape of all businesses. Thanks to this study, Healthcare providers serve as a shining example of the difficulty involved in maintaining these new infrastructures.

The leading cause of data security breaches comes as no surprise– employee mistakes and negligence. A majority of small to mid-size businesses heavily underestimate the risk involved with not securing their network properly and allowing employees to sync mobile devices at the workplace. Adding to the pot is the level of sophisticated cyber attacks that have seen a constant incline in activity since 2010. As an owner, expect to pay between $10,000 and $1 million for breach resolution and infrastructure reinforcement.

The average citizen sees a healthcare provider as a sterile, organized and safe environment to come to in order to address health issues. But digitally, 94% of healthcare organizations have had at least one data breach in the past 24 months. 45% report having more then five incidents. This paints a very clear picture; that of an organization that  needs to sharpen their individual ‘IT I.Q.’ in order to quickly identify the cause of a breach and what necessary actions should follow to reinforce vulnerabilities to prevent future incidents. This sort of forward thinking is what Secure The World developed their Secure IT Solutions for. As businesses continue to barrel forward into prosperity, decisions have to be made in order to guarantee the increasing accumulation of wealth. Recently, companies cut their IT and Advertising budgets considerably to offset the economy’s poor state. As things have managed to slow down enough for companies to breathe, the effects of cutting corners on network security have allowed malware developers to stay almost ahead of the curve, and most networks are currently infected as a result. Now, networks must first be scrubbed and then reinstated in order to properly secure it.

The primary cause of breaches in this study are lost computing devices, ranking in at 46%. Having your IT department and employees work together can greatly decreases the chances of this happening. Although 52% of organizations reported having one or more incidents of medical identity theft, only 18% say that the theft was a result of a data breach. Regarding cloud services, 62% utilize the cloud, while 47% are not confident that information in the cloud is secure at all.

equipment-on-patient-folder2A clever satire of technology’s rise to the cloud can be found on a recent episode of the Colbert Report . For those unfamiliar, it is a political satire of the conservative agenda. In this recap episode, they write some compelling(albeit humorous) content regarding our growing dependency on  Technology and the ‘Cloud’, and how it makes society vulnerable. This will serve as an fitting conclusion to the findings on the Ponemon Institute. The best part starts at 3:57.


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