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Healthcare Organizations Twice As Likely To Experience Data Theft
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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2015 | 11:11:46 PM
Re: Healthcare is unique
Indeed, two years ago, Dell SecureWorks reported that full PHI records netted about $20 per on the black market -- much more valuable than simple credit cards (except high-balance cards and the like).
UlfM645
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UlfM645,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2015 | 12:30:51 PM
Healthcare is unique
I agree that Medical records are very desirable on the black market, because medical records, themselves, may be a treasure trove of PII, financial information, and insurance numbers."

I think that healthcare is unique in that there are a greater number of people who come in contact with sensitive information during the course of normal business operations than in other industries.

So, when you combine the number of people involved with handling multiple forms of PHI records, along with the immaturity of the data security systems and practices that are in place, there are so many opportunities for mistakes or

intentional breaches to take place.

The attraction of PHI is that its value does not degrade as rapidly as credit card data, which can be changed or updated quickly.

I recently read a study from Aberdeen Group that revealed "a steady increase in enterprise use of tokenization as an alternative to encryption for protecting sensitive data" and that half of the organizations are using data tokenization

for PII and PHI data. The name of the study is "Tokenization Gets Traction".

This is a short list of effective measures that I suggest organizations should take:

1. Fine-grained de-identification of both PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and PHI.
2. Fine-grained tokenization of PHI, to alleviate the need for plain-text data and exposure in-memory across the entire data flow.
3. Strong credentials, including password improvement and rotation, plus separation of duties to prevent privileged users, such as database administrators or system administrators, from accessing sensitive data.
   
Secure the data to the point that it is useless to a potential thief. Modern solutions such as tokenization provide better security than encryption, while retaining usability for analytics and monetization.

Ulf Mattsson, CTO Protegrity
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