Healthcare IT Security Worse Than Retail, Study Says - InformationWeek

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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
5/28/2014 | 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.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/28/2014 | 9:08:09 AM
Re: healthcare security
Personally I find it absolutely terrifying. There are, however, a few glimmers of hope here.
  • One, as Stephen stressed throughout the conversation, this is an average and some healthcare providers are better than others. Several (including some I've interviewed for InformationWeek) integrate security into everything they do. 
  • Patients are getting more access into their records, giving us the opportunity (if not responsibility) to review them for accuracy. Of course, we've seen this work with varying results in the financial sector; it's challenging to get your credit report fixed sometimes. I cannot imagine how easy it will be to get your EHR amended if it's wrong due to an inaccuracy for your treatment or due to hacking/misuse of your data by another.
  • These increased penalties should make all healthcare providers, large and small, more aware and concerned about breaches and security. However, you can beat companies over the head with examples like Target, eBay, Michael's, TJMaxx, and more and they still make simply fixable errors, so I don't know how much weight this argument carries until an organization itself gets hit. Then everyone within THAT organization definitely cares. But does their competitor? I don't know.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
5/28/2014 | 8:43:27 AM
healthcare security
Not very reassuring. It's a problem that really needs to be addressed.
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