We’re often at our most vulnerable when we need the help of a healthcare professional. We trust that our doctors and nurses can help us when we’re in pain. Whether we’re experiencing a serious illness or a routine procedure or health exam, healthcare visits almost always lead us to consider our own mortality, especially as we get older.
What we generally don’t consider during these moments of introspection and fear is how well-defended our private health information is by the people we trust to heal us. We too often don’t think about what mechanisms are in place to protect our personal data, or we simply assume that our information is safe. Never have such assumptions been less justified.
Health Data Breaches Reach 3-Year High in 2021
A recent analysis of Health and Human Services data by the online news organization Politico found that about 50 million Americans suffered a breach of their sensitive health information last year. Health organizations and insurers in every state except South Dakota suffered data breaches, about 75 percent of which were the result of direct cyberattacks by hackers.
The Office for Civil Rights within the HHS requires all HIPAA-covered hospitals, insurers, and healthcare systems to report any breach of protected health information when it affects 500 or more individuals. Organizations that fail to comply with federal HIPAA requirements face stiff regulatory fines, loss of public trust, and lasting damage to their institutional reputations.
Troubling Start to 2022
Several breaches of personal health information have been reported since the beginning of 2022. The most recent have affected hospitals across the country. Earlier this month, a Knoxville children’s hospital warned patients of an unspecified IT security issue that caused a disruption in operations.
Other data breaches were reported at hospitals in California, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Florida. In Oklahoma, the regional hospital in the city of Duncan suffered a security incident that exposed private information for nearly 100,000 patients and made internal computer systems inaccessible.
More at Stake Than Just Data
Cyberattacks on hospitals and other healthcare providers not only affect public trust and institutional reputations. They can also affect patient care and put lives at risk. A cyberattack last year on the University of Vermont Medical Center forced a month-long shutdown, during which surgeries were rescheduled and cancer patients had to be sent to other care providers.
In 2020, the Dusseldorf University Clinic in Germany had to suspend all operations and remove patients to other care facilities after a ransomware attack took all IT systems offline. A woman in urgent need of admittance had to be rerouted to a healthcare facility in another city, where she later died.
When Data Security Matters Most
SecureData specializes in enterprise data security solutions for the safe storage of regulated consumer and customer information. We’ve driven innovation in encrypted external storage for more than a decade, and we’ve helped customers in government, the healthcare sector, the military, and throughout the corporate world maintain strict compliance with HIPAA and other legislative mandates for the safe handling and storage of personal information.
Our SecureDrive and SecureUSB product lines offer the highest levels of security for data in transit or at rest. Available in managed and unmanaged options, SecureDrive and SecureUSB devices feature FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated hardware encryption that deploys easily and provides unmatched protection against unauthorized access of private data.
SecureDrive and SecureUSB encrypted drives authenticate by onboard keypads and a secure PIN (our KP product line) or with your iPhone or Android mobile device via Bluetooth and a free mobile app (our BT product line). Our BT line also comes remote management-ready, giving you absolute control over how and where your data can be accessed.
Our Remote Management (RM) Console subscription service allows IT administrators to control access to and log users for any SecureDrive or SecureUSB BT device from one centralized portal. Drive access can be limited to a specific geographical location or time of day. Administrators can also remotely unlock a drive, reset the password, or wipe the contents if a device gets lost or stolen..
Data Security You Can Trust
SecureData has helped organizations strengthen their IT security posture with hardware-encrypted external storage that puts an impenetrable barrier between your most sensitive information and the cybercriminals who seek to exploit it. Whether you need an offline encrypted backup system or a HIPAA-compliant method for transporting regulated data between facilities, we can help.
Call us at 425-363-8535 to speak to one of our data security specialists about a solution that’s right for your organization, or to schedule a free product demonstration.