Risk
5/25/2011
03:44 PM
50%
50%

GlobalSign Markets Encryption Service To Healthcare

Healthcare organizations spend too much time on compliance, not enough on data security, according to a GlobalSign survey.

Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety
Sensing that healthcare organizations are spending too much time on regulatory compliance and not enough time addressing actual security threats, digital certificate authority GlobalSign on Thursday will begin marketing its Biowrap file encryption service to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

The decision comes as the company, a subsidiary of Japan-based GMO Internet Group, released data highlighting an inconsistency in healthcare. According to GlobalSign's survey of 107 healthcare executives, IT administrators, and managers, 56% said that they devote at least a quarter of their work week to compliance with HIPAA and other state and federal regulations. But 33% said it's likely that a breach of healthcare data costing $100,000 or more occurs at least once a week and 34% reported that their own organization had had patient records breached in the last two years.

"They’re obsessed with compliance," Lila Kee, GlobalSign chief product officer and board member, said in an interview. "However, they're not doing a lot in terms of improvements in their workflow and their security systems."

GlobalSign's survey also revealed that 54% of respondents dedicate most of their compliance effort to HIPAA and 37% spend less than a quarter of their time on improving security and protecting patient privacy.

HIPAA privacy rules, which apply to any data breach, electronic or otherwise, have been in effect since 2002 and stem from a 15-year-old law. Yet, Kee said, breaches today tend to be of the electronic variety. She noted that the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act--the health IT section of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--"brings more clarity to the electronic side," but many healthcare organizations haven't brought their security practices up to date.

"The reality is, I think there are a lot of people with their heads in the sand," Kee said. "They're familiar with what they need to do to comply with, but they may not be doing enough to prevent a data breach."

GlobalSign thus sees healthcare as a market ripe for Biowrap, an identity-based service that allows the sender to choose which pieces of information to encrypt, as long as the user's authentication checks out. According to Kee, Biowrap frees recipients from having to obtain public key infrastructure certificates. "It's very cumbersome, it requires a lot of pre-arrangements, and it isn't very scaleable," Kee said of PKI technology.

The year-old GlobalSign product also helps automate compliance efforts by keeping a log of data access and transfers. "It provides assurances auditors are looking for," Kee said.

Kee said GlobalSign decided to market to the healthcare industry after fielding numerous inquiries about whether Biowrap might be able to help with HIPAA and HITECH compliance. "We weren't that versed in those regulations," Kee admitted. Now, she said the company is confident enough in Biowrap to sell the product directly to the healthcare industry.

In the new, all-digital InformationWeek supplement: Our 2011 Strategic Security Survey confronts the five biggest problems faced by midsize companies. Download it now. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2208
Published: 2014-12-28
CRLF injection vulnerability in the LightProcess protocol implementation in hphp/util/light-process.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 2.4.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands by entering a \n (newline) character before the end of a string.

CVE-2014-2209
Published: 2014-12-28
Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.1.0 does not drop supplemental group memberships within hphp/util/capability.cpp and hphp/util/light-process.cpp, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions by leveraging group permissions for a file or directory.

CVE-2014-5386
Published: 2014-12-28
The mcrypt_create_iv function in hphp/runtime/ext/mcrypt/ext_mcrypt.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.3.0 does not seed the random number generator, which makes it easier for remote attackers to defeat cryptographic protection mechanisms by leveraging the use of a single initial...

CVE-2014-6228
Published: 2014-12-28
Integer overflow in the string_chunk_split function in hphp/runtime/base/zend-string.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.3.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via crafted arguments to the chunk_split ...

CVE-2014-6229
Published: 2014-12-28
The HashContext class in hphp/runtime/ext/ext_hash.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.3.0 incorrectly expects that a certain key string uses '\0' for termination, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information by leveraging read access beyond the end of the string,...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.