Why Does US Healthcare Have a $5.6 Billion Problem?

When someone steals your credit card information, you can quickly have the card closed, so you're not exposed for too long on the Black Market. If you have your Social Security number stolen, that's a whole different nightmare. In a story featured on NBC News this spring, a Ponemon Institute study has shown just how badly security breaches have affected the healthcare industry. Medical records are becoming a hot commodity in the Black Market, and criminal hacking attacks have gone up 100% since 2010. However, there are many reasons for why so many breaches have occurred. Here are several of the biggest culprits:

Employee Negligence: It's not that healthcare employees are not doing it on purpose, but the healthcare industry lends itself to pressure and priorities. An employee is more apt to worry about the care and status of a patient rather than the security of that patient's information. However, one single lost laptop with unencrypted data could result in a serious data breach.

A Number of Different Parties: In the study, the Ponemon Institute estimates that as many as ten different entities could have access to your information from a single hospital visit. If there is a hiccup on any level, there could be a breach. This could be from the ambulance center that initially received your call, the medical center itself, the doctor's practice if he or she is out of network, a medical facility's third-party vendor, or your health insurance company, just to name a few.

Unsecured Devices: The fact that a good majority of healthcare professionals use their own personal devices has one Hospital Chief Information Security Officer very scared. As quoted in a McKinsey Report called Risk and Responsibility in Hyperconnected World: "Most devices have no security applications on them at all. Anyone can just get in and manipulate whatever they want."  Nearly 88% of medical facilities allow their staff to use their own devices, but only 38% take any measures to make sure their secured.

There's no question that the digitalization of medical records has enabled quicker, more efficient care. However, the benefits of digitalization are only fully realized when that information is protected by superior network security solutions. As a managed services, VDI, DR and Vendor Neutral Archiving Solutions provider, we have helped countless medical organizations provide better care and become more efficient without sacrificing on security. Contact us today to learn more how we can help you prevent a data breach and remain compliant.

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