From the Wires
Ninety-Four Percent of Hospitals Surveyed Suffered Data Breaches; Estimated Cost to Healthcare Industry Averages $7 Billion
Errors and Cyber Attacks Are Culprits; Mobile and Cloud Threats Loom; Patients at Risk for Medical Identity Theft
By: PR Newswire
Dec. 6, 2012 08:01 AM
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. and PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security by Ponemon Institute, sponsored by ID Experts®, reports that healthcare organizations face an uphill battle in their efforts to stop data breaches. Ninety-four percent of healthcare organizations surveyed suffered at least one data breach; 45 percent of organizations experienced more than five data breaches during the past two years. Data breaches are an ongoing operational risk that could be costing the U.S. healthcare industry an average of $7 billion annually. A new finding indicates that 69 percent of organizations surveyed do not secure medical devices—such as mammogram imaging and insulin pumps—which hold patients' protected health information (PHI). Overall, the research indicates that patients and their PHI are at increased risk for medical identity theft. Risks to patient privacy are expected to increase, as mobile and cloud technology become pervasive. For a free copy of the Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security, visit http://www2.idexpertscorp.com/ponemon2012/. For the infographic, visit http://www2.idexpertscorp.com/ponemon2012/Infographic/.
Key Findings of the Research
Ninety-four percent of hospitals in this study suffered data breaches during the past two years. Information breached is largely medical files and billing and insurance records. According to the research, 54 percent of organizations have little or no confidence that they can detect all patient data loss or theft. Based on the experience of the 80 healthcare organizations participating in this research, the resulting cost to the U.S. healthcare industry could be $6.87 billion, up from 2011. The average impact of a data breach is $1.2 million per organization.
The causes of data breach cited were loss of equipment (46 percent), employee errors (42 percent), third-party snafu (42 percent), criminal attack (33 percent), and technology glitches (31 percent). More than half of healthcare organizations (52 percent) had cases of medical identity theft. Of the 52 percent of organizations that experienced medical identity theft, 39 percent say it resulted in inaccuracies in the patient's medical record and 26 percent say it affected the patient's medical treatment.
Mobile devices in the workplace pose threats to patients' PHI. Eighty-one percent of healthcare organizations permit employees to use their own mobile devices—commonly called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)—often to access organization data. Yet 54 percent of organizations are not confident that these personally owned mobile devices are secure. Another technology threat gaining steam is cloud computing. Ninety-one percent of hospitals surveyed are using cloud-based services; many use cloud services to store patient records, patient billing information, and financial information. Yet, 47 percent of organizations lack confidence in the data security of the cloud.
This past year, 36 percent of healthcare organizations have made improvements in their privacy and security programs, in response to the threat of audits conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. While 48 percent of organizations are now conducing security risk assessments, only 16 percent are conducting privacy risk assessments. Yet, 73 percent still have insufficient resources to prevent and detect data breaches. And 67 percent of organizations don't have controls to prevent and/or quickly detect medical identity theft.
"Healthcare organizations face many challenges in their efforts to reduce data breaches," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. "This is due in part to the recent explosion of employee-owned mobile devices in the workplace and the use of cloud computing services. In fact, many organizations admit they are not confident they can make certain these devices are secure and that patient data in the cloud is properly protected. Overall, most organizations surveyed say they have insufficient resources to prevent and detect data breaches."
Data Breaches Are a Part of "Doing Business"
Recommendations for Healthcare Organizations
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About the Study
About Ponemon Institute
About ID Experts
Note to Media:
SOURCE ID Experts; Ponemon Institute
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