IT | Security

Healthcare Breaches On the Rise, Some Rise to the Challenge

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 9/20/2013

In the past few years, we have seen hospital data breaches on the rise due, in part, to the inability of healthcare organizations to keep up with the increased demand for electronic health information, mobile technology and expanded collaboration with partners. With the integration of BYOD programs into healthcare accelerating and the further expansion of collaborative electronic health record sharing, these security concerns have become more pressing.

While some healthcare organizations have risen to the challenge, meeting the demands of their users as well as keeping abreast of compliance regulations and new security risks, others have lagged behind. According to public figures, hospital data breaches in the UK were up 20% from 2,337 breach incidents in 2011/2012 to 2,805 breach incidents in 2012/13. Over in the US, we continue to see healthcare breaches hit the news, such as the theft of 4 unencrypted computers from Advocate Medical Group in Illinois that breached information of over 4 million patients, including clinical data, diagnoses, health insurance data and Social Services numbers.

In our Healthcare Makes Headway with BYOD survey last month, we revealed that 36% of hospital and health system employees use personal devices to access patient data. Despite the access to data and the current adoption of BYOD programs, 63% of hospitals and health systems do not yet have a formal policy for BYOD. Thankfully, many healthcare organizations are on top of these security challenges.

Absolute Software currently works with many clients to ensure the protection of patient healthcare information and electronic health records. We provide solutions to manage and secure IT endpoints and the data they contain.

  • Absolute Computrace for endpoint security allows you to respond if a device is missing or stolen, if data is breached or compromised, or if the status of a device is unknown—safeguarding patient data and allowing you to comply with regulations such as HITECH/HIPAA and other regional, state, and federal regulations.
  • Absolute Manage for endpoint management allows you to maintain the health of each device in your deployment so you can prevent the spread of viruses, external attacks, forbidden applications, over-installed software, and other conditions that can result in non-compliance.
  • Absolute Manage MDM (stand-alone or as part of Absolute Manage) allows organizations to remotely manage and secure iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices.  It includes support for employee-owned devices (BYOD) as well as a web-based user interface so that IT can perform select administrative and security tasks working remotely or on the go

Learn more about Absolute Software's solutions for Healthcare here.