Businesses and Organizations in the U.S. Healthcare Industry are arguably subject to the most stringent data privacy and security laws on the planet. If you’re a Healthcare IT leader involved in compliance efforts – we certainly sympathize with you. Recently, Aaron McIntosh and I held a webinar on HIPAA Compliance for 2017 and Beyond in partnership with HiMSS – a 60,000+ member not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare through the best use of IT1. Our aim was to improve Healthcare IT leaders’ understanding of HIPAA in the context of the trends, breaches and common compliance issues we’re seeing across the industry so far in 2017. But it turns out that we gained far more insight than we shared with our audience of more than 140+ IT and Compliance leaders.
Another day, another breach. In a relatively unsurprising start to 2017, healthcare breaches are on track to reach new heights (or is it depths?). In what has become a somewhat satirical annual tradition, analysts forecast upcoming breach trends for the notoriously hard hit healthcare industry, and title each year with a fitting name. In 2015, it kicked off with the Year of the Healthcare Breach. In 2016, it was the Rise of Ransomware. So as I was reading about yet another breach in April, a question came to mind, what will “Year of the” be for 2017?
Holistic, comprehensive security strategies, centered on protecting data, not devices, are easier than ever thanks to current encryption technology. According to a recent Ponemon Institute study, over the last five years healthcare organizations have slowly increased their investment in data security along with new technologies to better protect Protected Health Information (PHI).
Healthcare data is the most valuable data a thief can get their hands on. Last year Ponemon did a study, which found that of the 40 companies across 12 industries surveyed, that negligence or human error is the primary root cause of data breaches.
I just read an article from eWeek that focused on how common data breaches are in the healthcare industry. OK, I said to myself, but then given my inquisitive nature at times, I typed in “healthcare data breaches” on one of leading search engines and voila!
I’ve talked about data breaches due to a lost laptop before. They’re common, painful and usually generate horrible publicity. It continues to be alarming how many of these devices that are lost continue to be unencrypted. Looking around lately, there’s a very disturbing trend – healthcare professionals are losing devices left, right and center.