Risk
3/8/2012
11:25 AM
50%
50%

Healthcare Security Pros Must Speak More Like CFOs

Financial Impact of Breached Protected Health Information report helps health IT pros make the business case for patient data protection.

As the number of healthcare data breaches continues to snowball, executives put in charge of safeguarding protected health information (PHI) can't keep up with the risks inherent with increased deployment of electronic health records (EHRs) without enough financial backing to get the job done. And the only way that these PHI protectors can squeeze that juice from the C-suite is if they make themselves fluent in the language of financial justification, say authors of a new report on healthcare IT security.

A collaboration between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), via its Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP), in partnership with the Santa Fe Group/Shared Assessments Program Healthcare Working Group, and the Internet Security Alliance (ISA), the free report, The Financial Impact of Breached Protected Health Information, took input from 100 healthcare leaders from 70 organizations. It was the culmination of a yearlong initiative called the PHI Project.

According to Rick Kam, president and co-founder of ID Experts and chair of the PHI Project, the team hopes to establish the document as the go-to resource for security and privacy officers taking a disciplined approach to assessing and mitigating risk of healthcare data breaches. He says that the state of the industry is such that those in charge of securing PHI are crying out for guidance.

"Because of the move toward electronic health records and the number of stakeholders that are now involved in handling our sensitive patient information, the PHI protectors are literally being outpaced in terms of their ability to protect our information," Kam says. "The magnitude and the frequency of healthcare breaches has increased rapidly because of the number of stakeholders and the move to electronic health records. These individuals need help."

One of the biggest ways they need help is in simply how to package PHI security issues in a way that makes sense to CEOs and CFOs. He and his co-authors found that these healthcare security initiatives are drastically underfunded and one of the main reasons is no one knows how to make a case for the cash.

"They basically put the CFO and the CEO to sleep because they're talking compliance, talking costs, and talking about things that are not that interesting to these executives," he said. "What we realized is we have to arm that chief privacy officer with the same tools and business case that speaks in investment language to help them enhance their business cases for things that would enhance privacy and security of protected health information."

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

Healthcare providers must collect all sorts of performance data to meet emerging standards. The new Pay For Performance issue of InformationWeek Healthcare delves into the huge task ahead. Also in this issue: Why personal health records have flopped. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-2184
Published: 2015-03-27
Movable Type before 5.2.6 does not properly use the Storable::thaw function, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via the comment_state parameter.

CVE-2014-3619
Published: 2015-03-27
The __socket_proto_state_machine function in GlusterFS 3.5 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a "00000000" fragment header.

CVE-2014-8121
Published: 2015-03-27
DB_LOOKUP in nss_files/files-XXX.c in the Name Service Switch (NSS) in GNU C Library (aka glibc or libc6) 2.21 and earlier does not properly check if a file is open, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) by performing a look-up while the database is iterated over...

CVE-2014-9712
Published: 2015-03-27
Websense TRITON V-Series appliances before 7.8.3 Hotfix 03 and 7.8.4 before Hotfix 01 allows remote administrators to read arbitrary files and obtain passwords via a crafted path.

CVE-2015-0658
Published: 2015-03-27
The DHCP implementation in the PowerOn Auto Provisioning (POAP) feature in Cisco NX-OS does not properly restrict the initialization process, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands as root by sending crafted response packets on the local network, aka Bug ID CSCur14589.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.