Disk Encryption Software: Healthcare Data Breaches Are Mostly Due To Theft And Loss Of Physical Devices.

Informationweek.com notes that it’s not hackers that people ought to be scared of when it comes to medical data breaches.  That’s because it’s the theft and loss of physical devices like laptops and external hard disks that drives data losses.  Thankfully, there’s an easy solution for that: laptop encryption software such as AlertBoot.

Most Common Cause of Medical Breaches in the US

If you follow this blog, you already know this, but it’s been confirmed once more:  Based on the listing of breaches at the Department of Health and Human Services (where incidents involving more than 500 patients are listed publicly), 49% of the 288 listed HIPAA breaches involves physical theft.  We’re talking about a person stealing laptops, external hard drives,  USB sticks, CDs, etc.  These can involve car break-ins or a hospital’s premises.  Most of such breaches can be easily controlled with encryption software, its sole purpose and design being to keep data secure.

Another 14% of the breaches are attributed to the loss of such devices.  Again, the use of encryption can mean the difference between an actual data breach (the device is lost and the data potentially read) and a breach on paper only (the loss of the device).  Improper disposal accounts for 5%, and yet again its effects can be mollified by the use of proper cryptographic solutions.

In other words, the use of encryption could benefit the medical field in 68% of the cases.  Granted, this number will change as more breaches are reported; however, whether the figure is 68% or 5%, the point is that a medical breach is a medical breach is a medical breach… no matter how many people are affected.

If one is not willing to invest in the best security tools, he or she has to invest in at least the reasonable ones.  Now, HIPAA, HITECH, and the HHS don’t really come out and say what these tools might be, except in one case: strong encryption.  (I’m of the opinion that it’s one of the more reasonable tools, which makes it the best).

Are you convinced yet that, as a covered entity, you need encryption software?

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