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Healthcare Organizations Twice As Likely To Experience Data Theft
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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
Joe Stanganelli
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).
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2015 | 12:33:39 PM
Healthcare privacy

Healthcare data is target simply because it is kept private, if it was a public record it would not be  a target.


User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2015 | 12:36:47 PM
Re: Healthcare is unique
Agree. It is actually sad that there is a black market on health data. If it was just a public record there would have been much less prpblem.
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2015 | 12:39:27 PM
Re: Healthcare is unique
One solution to this problem it to identify players in the black market, if I am guessing I will goes that we may find big insurance companies behind it.
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2015 | 12:42:40 PM
Re: Healthcare is unique
One more thing, one way to make it uses for the hackers is to encrypt it at rest, they may get the data but not be able to decrypt and utilize it.  Unless you are NSA of course :--))).
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 9:13:28 PM
Re: Healthcare is unique
> One solution to this problem it to identify players in the black market,

Indeed, that seems to be the perennial goal...

> if I am guessing I will goes that we may find big insurance companies behind it.

...although I don't carry quite the same conspiracy theory.  :)
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 9:15:39 PM
Re: Healthcare is unique
Worth pointing out that encryption at rest, while useful, is hardly a complete solution -- as security pundits pointed out in the wake of the Anthem brouhaha.  After all, if access and keys are compromised, so too is the encryption, and -- with it -- the data.
User Rank: Strategist
10/1/2015 | 9:57:09 AM
Re: Healthcare is unique
Well, if you want to believe that healthcare is unique, go right ahead if that makes you feel better. But next time you go to the doctor's office or hospital, don't look too closely at that stack of six or nine papers they make you sign before you get to go past that locked door in the waiting room and actually see the doc.

Spoiler alert! Big Data is all about your healthcare records, already. Best that you don't look into MIB, Optum, Milliman, and their ilk, and their associated "members". This means there is already online, daily, trending to near real time, inter-company trading of your healthcare "data."

I like how MIB has a rebuttal statement pre-prepared at their website - cause they're just waiting for you to check them out - "...relying on unverifiable statements that may or may not have been made in the 1970's, 80's and 90's...we ask that you "take them with a grain of salt."" While Millimam's US home page even shows up with a website https certificate error.

Welcome to the 21st century of healthcare.

Enrico Fontan
Enrico Fontan,
User Rank: Strategist
10/1/2015 | 12:03:02 PM
A cost effective approach
I think the article perfectly focused the point:

"The end result is that attackers are far more willing to invest in stealing medical records than healthcare institutions are willing to invest in protecting them from being stolen."

Attackers are always looking for a cost effective approach. Healthcare institutions have to focus on system security and staff training (secure the human) if they plan to minimize such attacks.
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