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Survey: Half Of Americans Concerned With Medical Record Security Risks

SafeNet says consumers need a better understanding of who can access their personal data
BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to a survey from SafeNet, Inc., a global leader in information security, only half of U.S. adults (52 percent) are concerned with the safety of their personal data within their medical records. Medical records security ranked fourth when compared to personal identification such as social security numbers (83 percent), banking data (83 percent) and general contact information (56 percent).

“Increasingly, the move from paper to digital records, internal vulnerabilities, and other cyber threats, medical records are more susceptible to malicious attacks. Consumers need to have a better understanding of who can access their personal data and medical records and how it is protected.”

Americans polled were more concerned with security of personal contact information, such as phone numbers or addresses being exposed. Most medical records include this basic contact information, Social Security numbers, and intensely personal medical data. Therefore, whenever medical records are breached, this data could be accessed and misused.

“Criminals are devising new and effective ways to steal personal information regardless of where it is stored,” said Tsion Gonen, corporate vice president of product management, SafeNet. “Increasingly, the move from paper to digital records, internal vulnerabilities, and other cyber threats, medical records are more susceptible to malicious attacks. Consumers need to have a better understanding of who can access their personal data and medical records and how it is protected.”

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for SafeNet in November 2010, also found Americans are more concerned about the unauthorized release of their medical records due to internal negligence (49 percent) than someone hacking into the systems where their records are stored (41 percent). Fourteen percent of Americans surveyed have no concerns at all about the security of their medical records.

Other key findings include:

* 42 percent of Americans are unsure how their medical records are stored; * 11 percent do not know who has access to their medical records; * More than a third of Americans (38 percent) feel they are not at all familiar with medical data privacy regulations currently in place in the U.S.

SafeNet offers a comprehensive portfolio of security solutions that protects identities, transactions, data and communications for the healthcare industry.

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of SafeNet between November 12 and 16, 2010, among 2,405 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the U.S. population.

About SafeNet, Inc.

Founded in 1983, SafeNet is a global leader in information security. SafeNet protects its customers' most valuable assets, including identities, transactions, communications, data and software licensing, throughout the data lifecycle. More than 25,000 customers across both commercial enterprises and government agencies and in over 100 countries trust their information security needs to SafeNet.

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