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Healthcare Information Security: Still No Respect
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RobPreston
RobPreston,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/10/2014 | 9:16:39 AM
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
I'm sure there's new found respect for information security in the retail industry -- at least I hope there is -- following the recent high-profile breaches at Target and other outlets. Will it take a major breach at a major private sector healthcare provider to wake up that indusry?
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
2/10/2014 | 9:42:39 AM
Re: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
I'm taking a wait-and-see position on whether the recent data breaches at Target etc will trigger an ephiphany in the retail industry. My guess is that security officers in that industry don't get any respect either. And that's with PCI-DSS regs to contend with.

In terms of healthcare, it's a sad commentary that 10 years after HIPAA, hospitals and other organizations talk the talk, but still don't walk the walk. What will it take for business leaders to empower security officers in the post ACA-era? I wish I knew. It certainly seems like it should be an urgent prioritiy to me. 
Drew Conry-Murray
Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
2/10/2014 | 9:44:50 AM
Re: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
If healthcare is anything like retail, it's going to take a dozen high-profile breaches and significant financial losses for security to be taken seriously.
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Strategist
2/10/2014 | 11:13:44 AM
Exceptions to the rule?
Kate,

Frightening that you see this as such a strong pattern, despite all we hear about HIPAA.

You must have seen some exceptions, right? What organization would you hold up as the positive example to follow?

 

 
Laurianne
Laurianne,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/10/2014 | 2:37:52 PM
Funding or structure?
This paints quite a different picture than what I have heard from top hospital CIOs, who say things like "It is part of my job to keep us out of the newspaper." Those CIOs speak of a crushing regulatory burden right now. How are the smaller healthcare organizations keeping up with it, if the lack of expertise is this extreme?
zcobb
zcobb,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/10/2014 | 3:25:56 PM
Breaching misperceptions
Thank you so much for this article. Sheds light on a serious problem. Not enough organizations realize any PII is fair game for cyber crooks, the fact that it might be PHI doesn't enter the equation for many of them. And this is so true: "But too many breaches today -- not only in healthcare but in other sectors -- arent due to zero-day attacks exploiting previously undiscovered vulnerabilities. They are avoidable events that are frequently tied to lack of security expertise and resources to implement security controls." Agreed! Stephen Cobb, CISSP
WKash
WKash,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/10/2014 | 6:07:22 PM
50 Reasons Why We Need Better EHR Security
Depending on what report you read, a stolen medical ID number and record currently sells on the black market for $50 (and as much as $100), whereas a stolen credit card number is only worth $1.  The reason: In gaining access to a person's health records, a hacker has – in one fell swoop – acquired almost full reign of a person's identity, and the opportunity for prolonged fraud against the medical establishment. Yet it's clear the medical community is no where close to having the security controls of say, the banking industry, or the federal government.
Kate Borten
Kate Borten,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2014 | 3:17:48 PM
Re: Funding or structure?
It's not inconsistent for CIOs to say their job is to keep the organization out of the papers (and really mean it), and yet not have good infosec programs in place.  They often don't know what a strong program looks like.  This is a big problem since, in my experience, many organizations of all sizes - but especially small - are not compliant.  They don't know what they don't know.  I'm sympathetic to the regulatory burden in healthcare, but good security is good business.  I think the real issue comes down to money.
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
2/13/2014 | 3:00:23 PM
Re: Funding or structure?
"People don't know what they don't know." 

Kate, I really think that is true on so many levels. On the medical side, I think doctors' training is to diagnose a condition through medical tests. In many cases, rule out things to discover what a patient doesn't have. Figuring out what you don't know is much much harder... That's true in medicine, InfoSec and most everything we do in life!
Gary Scott
Gary Scott,
User Rank: Strategist
2/13/2014 | 6:01:55 PM
EPHI Data Breach - One lost laptop or 10,000 recycled computers?
The biggest source of data breaches is not the one or two stolen laptops we hear about in the news but, the 100,000's of PCs and loose hard drives that organizations donate or send out for recycling. 

Small healthcare organizations continue to rely on electronic recycling companies to destroy hard drives and other digital media which may contain 1 million EPHI records each.  These unvetted recycling companies are allowed full access to EPHI - computer hard drives - from the time they leave the healthcare organization until the drives are finally destroyed.  

Organizations should insist that electronic recyclers physically shred hard drives (EPHI) prior to leaving the organizations custody.
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