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5/27/2011
11:09 AM
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Survey: Breaches Cost Some Healthcare Organizations $100K Per Day

Even with due diligence on HIPAA, HITECH requirements, healthcare organizations are still suffering patient-data breaches

Most healthcare organizations have made compliance with security and privacy regulations a priority, but that hasn’t slowed the data-breach bleed, a new survey finds.

Some 56 percent of IT administrators in healthcare organizations say they spend anywhere from 25 to 100 percent of their time working on compliance, and 54 percent spend most of it on HIPAA, according to the survey conducted by GlobalSign, a certificate authority. Meanwhile, some 34 percent of organizations suffered a breach of their patients' records in the past two years, and 10 percent say those breaches cost organizations $100,000 per incident each day.

Nearly 40 percent spend one-fourth of their work week "improving security and ensuring data privacy," and 19 percent say they spend 75 to 100 percent of their time on compliance, the report found, based on a survey of 107 IT administrators, managers, and C-level executives. Half of the respondents are with organizations of 5,000 or more employees.

Lila Kee, chief product officer at GlobalSign, says the findings reveal that healthcare is working heavily on compliance for HIPAA, HITECH, and other state and federal regulations, but is still getting hacked. "They are still having breaches even though they are doing a lot with regulations and compliance," Kee says.

"That one-third feels fines are $100,000 per event a day is quite disturbing," she notes. "Whether that's true or perceived, a lot of fines are being imposed."

Kee says the survey indicates that the compliance "check box" approach to security just isn't cutting it. "I don't think that strategy is effective," she says. "And over 79 percent find it hard to find compliance solutions for these regulations."

The challenge is for healthcare organizations to first ensure the security and privacy products they purchase fit auditors' requirements as well as truly protect data and patient data privacy, according to Kee.

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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