How to keep healthcare data safe

Healthcare providers should utilize monitoring and application control services to prevent digital data leaks.

As more healthcare providers utilize digital services to store and share patient information, the possibility that medical histories or treatment details could be forcibly breached or accidentally leaked climbs higher. One recent example was a data breach of more than 3,000 patients' personal information at the Oregon Health & Science University. Physicians had been using cloud-based services to share patient information between departments and create online spreadsheets of up-to-date medical information, but hospital officials ended up having to notify patients that their medical records – including names, medical record numbers, diagnoses and providers' names – were leaked.

Keeping medical information protected is vitally important, not only for patients who entrust their most sensitive personal and financial information to healthcare providers, but for the organizations, which can face a bevy of financial and legal problems stemming from revealed patient data. In the case of the doctors using poorly protected cloud services, their activity could have been prevented by an application control solution that would deter them from storing sensitive information on insecure platforms.

Medical facilities should invest in privacy monitoring solutions as well as managed services. Protecting hospital data is a round-the-clock job that should be handled by a professional security services provider and not left up to medical staff that are focused on other matters. With computer monitoring software, system administrators can keep an eye on internal developments and stop any potential data leak before it becomes a problem.

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.