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Despite improved storage, threats to data security persist

Whether you’re trying to secure an email system or design some kind of secure file storage platform, know that there are good technologies and partners that can make this entire journey easier.

Jeff Rowe | May 08, 2018 12:00 am

There’s no shortage of remarkable new technologies providing solutions to the myriad problems affecting impacting the healthcare world, and improved data storage options are among them.

But while new storage, prominently including flash storage, is facilitating the rise of the Internet of Things, telemedicine and other new healthcare services, data security threats also loom large in the minds of IT managers across the healthcare sector.

Writing recently at HealthITSecurity, tech writer Bill Kleyman reviewed the results of some recent surveys and picked out what he thinks are the top five threats worrying data managers.

First up, not surprisingly, was the growing threat of ransomware. “Web links, and more specifically email, have been huge threat vectors when it comes to ransomware,” Kleyman observed. “When it comes to ransomware, you can employ good security at the border and for user devices.  . . . Look for an available encryption decoder; many forms of ransomware have been successfully decrypted.”

Another major concern for IT managers, surveys found, was the loss of patient information. “Losing patient information in any amount is never a good event. However, it’s going to happen. Remember, the value of healthcare data continues to increase. . . . While the average global cost per record for all industries is $141, healthcare data breach costs are more than 2.5 times that the global average.  . . . Knowing this, it’s absolutely critical to work with solutions which help monitor data loss, help with incident detection, and even help with advanced endpoint security (like endpoint detection and response). Most of all, know where all of your data repositories reside and how they’re secured.”

Moreover, Kleyman noted that whether malicious or not, people are a threat. “These threats come from a doctor who accidentally clicked on a link while using a corporate device. Or, it might be a malicious attack against a healthcare system. Both are dangerous and both can have serious repercussions. Make sure to leverage good technologies which can interrogate devices trying to connect and even work to isolate network connections. Most of all, follow the flow of data.”

Other threats Kleyman cited included the theft of IT and corporate data and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

As we continue to deliver new types of services, Kleyman observed, healthcare data will only grow in value. “This means that security leaders must always see the big picture when it comes to security and work with good technologies which meet specific needs.”

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