Risk
3/10/2011
01:10 PM
50%
50%

Electronic Health Records Raise Security Risks

Consumer concerns about medical information privacy may be warranted, as many healthcare providers aren't doing enough to protect their data, finds CDW survey.

17 Leading EHR Vendors
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: 17 Leading EHR Vendors

According to a survey of 1,000 people who recently visited a healthcare facility, 49% believe that electronic health records (EHRs) will have a negative impact on the privacy of their personal health information.

The findings of the survey, "Elevated Heart Rates: EHR and IT Security," which were released on Tuesday, also show that respondents hold healthcare delivery organizations responsible for protecting financial information (86%), personally identifiable information (93%), and any information provided about a patient's family (94%).

The survey, which was conducted from January 24 to January 31, interviewed respondents who had been to both a doctors' office and hospital/outpatient clinic in the previous 18 months. The poll was conducted by CDW Healthcare, a subsidiary of CDW.

As health delivery organizations move from paper-based systems to digitized medical records, research shows that incidents of fraud resulting from health data theft have increased in recent years.

In an interview with InformationWeek, Bob Rossi, VP of CDW Healthcare, said digitized medical records should be accompanied by a plan that focuses on implementing health IT security software, as well as adopting security measures that prevent unlawful or unauthorized access to patients' medical information by staff members.

"Investment in technology addresses some of the problem, but healthcare delivery organizations need to make IT security a real focus and then also make the necessary updates to business processes and approach to personnel training. You will never 'certify' away mistakes, malicious intent, and human nature," Rossi said.

Based on this report and other health-related research, CDW Healthcare has identified preliminary steps for healthcare organizations focused on improving their security profile. These include:

-- Execute an IT Security Assessment: Many healthcare organizations do not know the current state of their IT security infrastructure, and fewer know what constitutes an adequate profile. Healthcare organizations need to work with a trusted partner to get a baseline understanding of what their security profile looks like today.

-- Start with the Basics: Notably, 30% of physician practices state that they do not use antivirus software and 34% do not use network firewalls. At the absolute minimum, healthcare organizations need to immediately implement steps to meet reasonable security standards.

-- Protect Your Investment: As healthcare organizations consider the transition to EHRs, they have the perfect opportunity to implement IT security practices tailored to their solution. This not only protects a sizable investment in technology, but also ensures that as patient data goes digital, security protections are already in place.

-- Start Now; Reassess Often: IT security is not a one-time fix, emphasized CDW Healthcare. Although the EHR transition is a perfect time to initiate tighter IT security controls, all healthcare organizations need to consider their IT security profiles and should consider conducting an assessment at least once a year.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.