Published on March 6, 2014
Lessons to learn from Target data breach © CureMD Healthcare
Data Breach • Recently, the second biggest retail company in the United States revealed that data of up to 110 million customers had been compromised by hackers • Theoretically speaking, it equates to 34% of the US population and is a breach of massive proportions – something unparalleled in history • So what can the healthcare industry learn from this? • Well, there are very slim chances that a breach of this nature will ever occur in our industry but any unwarranted breach of Protected Health Information (PHI) creates significantly more risk
Guarding against Data breaches • Conduct breach assessment – Like I discussed in my post yesterday, conducting a breach assessment is absolutely crucial for your healthcare organization – It enables effective communication and response that can prevent professional and financial damage – As was the case with Target, when the information about data breaches was made public, it really affected its reputation and they could face a fine to the tune of $3.6 billion
Guarding against Data breaches • Operationalize breach response process – When you have a breach response process in action, it prevents a typical knee-jerk reaction in case of any data breach and makes it more of a strategic process – This is something which Target didn’t do and faces an additional lawsuit where it delayed in notifying the customers of the data breach
Guarding against Data breaches • Upgrade risk analysis and technology – It is very important for you to clearly identify potential risk points and develop a strategy to counter them – The Target breach happened at the point-of-sale, normally not considered a vulnerable place – It was further revealed that Target was using ancient PIN encryption technology to protect customers’ data – Make sure you keep upgrading technology to meet the latest security standards and ensure protection of patient data
Guarding against Data breaches • Understand risks – Attacks can quickly spread through a system once it is compromised – Make sure you develop a mosaic approach in ensuring security of health insurance exchange – Create different protective strategies and technologies to nullify the effects of any potential breach at one node – target had multiple access points which made the attack that much more easy
Guarding against Data breaches • Never underestimate hackers – Never underestimate how motivated are the hackers for breaking into a system – Medical information is particularly important and contains a lot of sensitive data – making it a prime target for hackers
Guarding against Data breaches • Get business associates in order – Make sure you have signed business associate agreements with all your vendors and technology providers because in case of any breach, you should be able to avoid any drastic penalties or fines – One strategy that Business Insider recommends to reduce breaches for companies is to share information on how system hacks happened – This helps every organization strengthen security weaknesses and prevent future attacks
Read more on blog.curemd.com • To read more on this topic, visit: • http://blog.curemd.com/lessons-to-learn-fromtarget-data-breach/
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