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Healthcare IT Security Worse Than Retail, Study Says
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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2014 | 9:54:24 AM
Re: the unintentional insider threat
You are SO right, @Chris. Whenever I see reports or press releases on healthcare breaches or take a spin through HHS' Wall of Shame, I am (unsurprised but) stunned at the high percentage of breaches due to employee negligence, such as losing an unencrypted laptop. I don't know if it's laziness, lack of education, overly complex procedures that spawn workarounds, or a combination of factors that lead to these commonplace lapses but it's very disheartening. I think IT and security pros can help their organizations improve security by showing the direct result of lapses: Huge penalties and loss of public trust (and patients?) once these occur. Plus design security solutions that are as user-friendly as possible, while still safeguarding data. Tough but feasible.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2014 | 9:49:37 AM
Re: healthcare security
I agree with you that security is NOT what healthcare providers typically are good at. It's one reason I, personally, think many should seriously consider cloud as an option. Now, that doesn't mean rushing out and choosing any old cloud provider. It requires due diligence, a strong SLA, a deep dive into a cloud service provider's security (physical and cyber), as well as a long look at the company's financial resources. But partnering with a firm that solely provides data services and security can make a lot of sense for healthcare organizations, especially those without the resources to hire the right number and type of internal staff and buy adequate tech of their own.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2014 | 9:46:57 AM
Re: Why ever store credit card numbers?
You're so right. Many people like the convenience of storing their data, including credit card numbers. And I've seen studies that show the majority of people don't even use a simple four-digit password on their smartphones, leaving them wide open to theft.
chrisbunn
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chrisbunn,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/30/2014 | 4:05:20 AM
the unintentional insider threat
Healthcare organizations can help themselves by ensuring better employee education and the right security tools are in place that control and monitor users access to resources on a network. This is for employees own benefit and for that of the organisation they work for.

Why? Because most security problems in most organisations - including healthcare - appear not to be down to malicious attacks, but careless employee behaviour and misunderstandings on what actions are considered to be a security risk. Network Security relies heavily on a user's login credentials - identity is the most important security control for access to organizations resources. 

This goes down to simple limitations, such as preventing two logins on a single user ID taking place at the same time and enforcing access restrictions by location & time. By doing so organizations can help reduce the risk of shared passwords, stop attacks from stolen credentials and ensure all access is attributed to an individual employee. 

 

 

 

 
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/29/2014 | 7:12:09 AM
Re: healthcare security
Not disagreeing, but keep in mind that health care providers are experts in, well, health care. They are not IT experts and with the slim margins in that industry they cannot afford to hire even more staff. Administration is already the main driver of health care cost, care itself isn't that expensive.

I see the responsibility here at the system vendors. It is common practice to push the responsibilityfor data security to the customers, but it really is a disservice to everyone.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/29/2014 | 7:07:54 AM
Re: Why ever store credit card numbers?
Also many sites do not want the mandate of having a smartphone to log in. I do not own a smartphone, so SMS based two factor authentication would mean that I could not use these services.

The reason I do not have a smartphone is simply cost. Not cost of the device, but cost of the plan. I don't have the 40$ or more per month to spare for something I really do not need. I am either at home or at work and the time between I am off the grid.
JonNLakeland
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JonNLakeland,
User Rank: Moderator
5/28/2014 | 11:12:30 AM
Re: Why ever store credit card numbers?
@Alison, Perhaps my understanding is flawed, but I thought the stolen CC info from B&M stores was stolen in line, not from a digital storage medium. Either from the POS device or from intercepting batches.
JonNLakeland
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JonNLakeland,
User Rank: Moderator
5/28/2014 | 11:09:02 AM
Re: Why ever store credit card numbers?

Convenience. The same reason most websites still use passwords instead of multifactor authentication. Consumers are more likely to make impulse buys if their CC info is already stored. Consumers are more likely to make use of a website, forum, or other digital archive if they can just click login and not have to go looking for a text message or authenticator. The goal for 99% (fictional statistic) of the internet using populace is as much security as does not require any personal responsibility or effort from them for being secure.

In my experience most websites that store your CC info also give you the option to not. Most websites that allow multifactor authentication also give you the option to not. I'd be personally shocked, based on the security habits of my friends and family, if even 1% of users make use of those options.

Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/28/2014 | 10:11:09 AM
Re: healthcare security
An interesting side point: The company really expected Utilities to perform worse than other verticals. As you can see from the chart (and from the full report, if you access it), that was far from true! Good news for our grid. Bad news for retail and healthcare.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/28/2014 | 10:09:49 AM
Re: Why ever store credit card numbers?
I've wondered the same thing, @Anon. They do want to store all the related information: our names, addresses, and any other data they can collect (such as age, gender, amount spent, what we bought, time of day, etc.), which they use for a variety of reasons such as marketing, inventory, and so forth. You'd think, though, they could extract and delete the CC data from the information they 'need,' wouldn't you? On e-commerce sites, users typically have the option of saving or not saving their CC data, often by creating a reusable account or shopping as a guest. Why don't we have that same option as a customer of a brick and mortar store?

Of course, when it comes to healthcare, organizations need to keep all that information as part of their effort to improve care, reduce or eliminate errors (such as prescriptions, allergies, etc.), and streamline care across sites. Finally, providers are not allowed to request SSNs -- although I've found many still include that information on their forms (I just leave it blank since I figure it's for collection agency use as much as anything). Since healthcare orgs must have all this information (although there's no reason for them to store CC data, either), it's imperative for them to safeguard our data.
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