Scary and disheartening. Those are the only words I could think of after reading an SC Magazine article stating that continued security breaches in the health care industry are costing them $6B a year. According to the article, despite regulations such as HIPAA, health care organizations are struggling to protect patient data. 60% of respondents of a new survey said they have suffered two or more security breaches in the past two years. The top causes of breaches were “unintentional employee action, lost or stolen computing devices, and third-party accidents.” The economic impact of each security breach was a whopping $2M per organization over a two year period.
Security breaches have resulted from a lack of preparation and staffing. Most health care organizations have fewer than two people on staff dedicated to data protection management. According to Doug Pollack, director of privacy and security at ID Experts, “revenue trumps privacy.”
There are a few things that cost-conscious health care organizations can implement to protect their patients’ private data.
- Ensure that all communication with patient records be sent securely, requiring authentication.
- Utilize content monitoring to prevent all patient information from going across unsecure email
With the cost of healthcare security breaches reaching a mind-boggling $6B a year, it’s hard to understand why health care organizations haven’t taken the steps to secure patient records. It is far too easy for that information to get into the wrong hands – data brokers and identity thieves using that confidential information for their own financial gain, and at the cost of patients losing the ability to get the care they need.
Securely transferring data is simple today. Accellion offers secure file transfer solutions that can help health care organizations protect health care data to help comply with HIPAA and other regulations. We’re already helping a whole host of health care providers such as Harvard Medical School, Catholic Health East, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Clarian Health Partners, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and many more.
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