In September 2014, Forrester Research published a brief titled “Stolen and Lost Devices Are Putting Personal Healthcare Information at Risk”. Amongst the findings were two important trends:
Healthcare is becoming more mobile – approximately one-third of healthcare employees now work outside the office or clinic at least once a week.
Healthcare records are five times more likely to be lost due to device theft or accidental loss.
Today, personal healthcare information (PHI) records are more accessible than ever before. These PHI records contain important personal information such as social security numbers, medical history, and insurance information. Technological progression in the medical world is giving us advancements such as real time medical data on our smartphones and mobile messaging systems so hospital staff can get to patients faster. Although this progression is exciting, with all of this patient information floating around in technology, it makes it harder to keep our data safe.
With so much mobility, it’s not surprising that data protection has become a big problem. Mobile devices are simple to carry from one workplace to the next, but they can be easy to lose. To protect our data, we need a way to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the content of a lost or stolen device.
The solution is to use encrypted USB or external hard drives, such as the new IronKey™ S1000 3.0 USB. These secure storage devices combine encryption, which encodes data, making it unreadable to all but authorized users, with cloud-based management functionality that enables an organization to remotely wipe data from a device even if it is no longer in their possession.
Healthcare facilities need to address the realities of mobile work practices but they also need to protect the information in their care. The task is made a lot easier with a good device policy and the right tools.