AT&T Tightens Up Tablet SecurityAT&T has introduced new security tools that help healthcare providers better protect tablet-based patient data.
Health Data Security: Tips And Tools (click image for larger view and for slideshow)
AT&T recently announced the availability of two new software tools that it says will allow health IT managers to control and protect patient data that providers access on tablets.
The AT&T Managed Tablets platform offers end-to-end management that bundles software and services for organizations deploying the devices enterprise-wide. The platform enables customers to control their introduction into the network environment and also provides encryption apps and password protection.
If tablets are lost or stolen, the provider can contact AT&T and have the devices' data wiped. That's particularly important given the findings of the Ponemon Institute's second annual study on patient data security, which revealed that patient data losses at healthcare organizations have increased by 32% in 2011 compared to 2010, with nearly half (49%) of respondents citing lost or stolen computing devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
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"By providing device procurement and equipment financing, deployment logistics, project management, application management and security, lifecycle management, and help desk support, healthcare systems and hospitals can realize the benefits of utilizing these devices to enhance overall workflows," Eleanor Chye, executive director, Mobility Healthcare and Pharma at AT&T Business Solutions, told InformationWeek Healthcare.
According to officials at AT&T, there are three deployment models available:
-- The AT&T-procured model, in which AT&T orders the devices on behalf of the customer, has them shipped to AT&T, and installs on each device MobileIron’s Connected Cloud mobile device management (MDM) client application as well as any additional applications the customer wants. MobileIron Connected Cloud is a cloud-based MDM, security, and apps tool that clinicians can use to access data on their tablets.
-- The customer-shipped model, in which customers order their own tablets and have them shipped to AT&T so the company can install each device with the MobileIron Connected Cloud client application and any additional applications the customer wants.
-- The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, which allows employees to use their own devices for work purposes. In this situation AT&T arranges for MobileIron’s MDM client software and services to be accessed and downloaded via an email notification. Customers can access additional applications directly through the MobileIron Enterprise App Storefront or app stores such as iTunes.
AT&T also introduced the AT&T Global Smart Messaging Suite for Healthcare. The suite includes the newly released encrypted messaging application from Soprano Design Pty Ltd., called SOPRANO Cipher, which allows transmission of personal information designed to comply with applicable HIPAA requirements. SOPRANO Cipher will enable patients to receive highly secure healthcare communications such as appointment reminders, payment notices, and test results.
AT&T Global Smart Messaging Suite also offers an add-on Mobile Authenticator module that lets employees have access to a 2-factor mobile authentication system to enable access to online services. According to the company, Mobile Authenticator takes advantage of the ubiquity of the mobile phone and issues a password via SMS, delivering the same benefits as a hardware or software token without all the administrative overhead.
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