Ponemon’s Data Security Learnings
The Ponemon Insitute, responsible for research into data security, has recently published the results of their 2015 study regarding the security of healthcare data. We can learn a lot from the institute’s findings and it has become clear that the people responsible for healthcare data are going to need to find new and effective ways to protect the private information of their patients in an age where cyber breaches are becoming increasingly prevalent. The study showed, among other things, that over 90% of respondents have been the victims of some variety of data breach at some point over the last two years. This figure is exceptionally high and represents some severe issues with the data security systems in place at health organizations around the nation.
What Can Healthcare Organizations Do To Make Amends After These Troubling Figures Emerged?
Well, the first step would have to be placing a greater focus on information security. This means that the budget for data privacy needs to be increased in order for workers to have the necessary resources to fight back against hackers and breaches. Ponemon’s study shows that the rate of criminal attacks has greatly increased in recent times, with these forms of attacks representing the greatest threat for patients’ personal information. To protect themselves against these attacks, health organizations need to emphasize the importance of data security.
To reinforce this idea, more solid methods need to be introduced and adhered to by every organization. A lot of respondents claimed to have reliable data policies, but patients need to have the reassurance of knowing that every health organization has these policies in place and enforces them strongly. Every single aspect of data security needs to be covered, and even the institutions that claim to have good systems need to regularly review their policies and make necessary modifications as technology is continuously evolving and criminals will always find new methods of attack.
Shockingly, only a third of the respondents believed they had the resources necessary to identify any data breaches quickly, and just over half admitted to having properly trained staff to deal with any cyber problems. Naturally, healthcare organizations cannot work miracles with the limited resources they have, but more efficient spending and organizational procedures need to be engaged. Nowadays, automated technologies and software programs can be installed to detect and combat cyber-attacks without the need for highly-trained personnel. Organizations need to adopt these programs as soon as possible.
A final important point to make is that healthcare organizations have to get their security priorities in order. With more people being connected than ever before, these organizations have expanded their systems to allow employees and patients to access information remotely. This means that boosting the “outer layer” of their security systems is a fruitless task and the priority should instead be to encrypt and protect the information that is most valuable at the very core of the system. Ponemon’s report has taught us a lot and gives organizations the chance to better protect their patients.