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HIMSS Survey: How Well is the Healthcare Industry Protecting Your PII?

HIMSS Survey: How Well is the Healthcare Industry Protecting Your PII?

healthcare security
March 28, 2018 | Eva Hanscom

Healthcare organizations face unique and daunting cyber security challenges. Simply put: the cost and impact of a serious healthcare data breach cannot be understated. Cyber criminals recognize the value of the personally identifiable information (PII) housed in healthcare databases and have organized sophisticated campaigns to obtain it.

Even though the healthcare industry is highly regulated and seeks out incredibly security conscious employees, healthcare breaches continue to happen. In this intense environment, we wondered how healthcare professionals feel about the security of their personal healthcare data? Do they feel like their organization is doing an adequate job protecting healthcare PII?

Earlier this month, Venafi conducted a survey at the HIMSS18 conference in Las Vegas to find out what healthcare professionals think about pressing cyber threats. Over 120 healthcare professionals responded to the survey and what we found was surprising – most professionals are confident in their organization’s cyber security protocols, but they are apprehensive about the security of healthcare infrastructure and their own PII.

For example, 79% of the respondents said they are concerned about the cyber security of their own healthcare information. At the same time, 68% believe their organizations are doing enough to protect patient privacy and personal information from cyber attackers.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 87% of respondents are concerned that the reliability and availability of critical healthcare infrastructure could be compromised by cyber attacks.
     
  • 76% of respondents believe government-mandated backdoors into encryption technology could harm the privacy and personal information of patients.
     
  • Respondents were conflicted about the role of cyber security regulation. A third (33%) of the respondents believe there is too much cyber security regulation in the health care industry and 29% feel there is not enough regulation.

“It’s very clear healthcare professionals are deeply concerned about the protection of their own healthcare data,” said Nick Hunter, senior manager of threat intelligence for Venafi. “Unfortunately, cyber attacks spread just like infectious diseases. Attackers target victims with weak security hygiene. They adapt quickly and have learned to use security defences to hide malicious activities in plain sight. It’s going to take a concerted effort across the healthcare industry to improve cyber security outcomes.”

Do you believe the sector is doing enough to protect your healthcare PII?

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About the author

Eva Hanscom
Eva Hanscom

Eva Hanscom writes for Venafi's blog and is an expert in machine identity protection.

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