Healthcare industry one of the most mobile

By Mike Miliard
10:48 AM
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Healthcare IT workers are among the biggest users of smart phones and other mobile technology, but addressing the security needs of such devices remains a critical concern, according to a survey released today.

Forrester Consulting conducted the study on behalf of Fiberlink, the Blue Bell, Pa.-based developer of cloud-based "Mobility as a Service" (MaaS) solutions.

The study, titled "Managing and Securing Mobile Healthcare Data and Devices," found that 95 percent of healthcare enterprises relying on smartphones for work, making the industry one of the most mobile across all verticals.

But Forrester also found that 90 percent of the IT leaders queried felt data security on such technologies was of high or critical importance, and 86 percent cited regulatory compliance as a concern. Further, more than half of the respondents indicated the need for a tool that can poll for device encryption, and more than a third voiced a desire for a solution that could produce policy violation alerts.


"There’s good reason for these IT pros to be concerned," read the study, in which 31 percent of respondents reported that their data has been compromised at least once in the previous year. "As close to 100 percent of healthcare organizations take on devices such as smart phones, adding to the desktops and laptops already in place, there isn’t uniform control across the varying types of devices users rely on."


Added James Sheward, CEO of Fiberlink: "Forrester’s research confirms what we’ve been hearing from healthcare IT leaders: Mobility is critical for healthcare professionals, but IT must remain cognizant of where critical data is being stored and what’s at risk."


In the wake of the Forrester study, Fiberlink announced its new MaaS360 Healthcare IT Compliance Service, a comprehensive business intelligence reporting platform for healthcare organizations that gives IT professionals a single, unified view of policy and status reporting for all their mobile devices, helping organizations to identify and manage compliance vulnerabilities and data security risks.


"The healthcare industry has one of the broadest and most diverse deployments of mobile devices, but lacks the operational solutions to protect mobile electronic health information,” said Jim Szafranski, Fiberlink's senior vice president of customer platform services. “MaaS360 Healthcare IT Compliance Service addresses the challenges that keep healthcare IT leaders up at night. MaaS360 provides visibility and management capabilities that ensure regulatory compliance and the security of confidential medical data.”