HIPAA compliance violations are costly yet easily avoidable with a little due diligence.
In the last year more than 80,000 health records were exposed in a data breach because an unprotected computer was stolen. Unencrypted laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, and flash drives are commonly identified as the source of a data breach.
Laptops and USB thumb drives are frequently used by healthcare professionals as a quick, easy and highly portable way to store and share information. Securing these devices has never been easier or more cost effective and yet the number of data breaches from lost or stolen devices is on the rise. With smartphones increasingly used by professionals in hospitals and clinics throughout the country, the risk of non-compliance is growing exponentially.
Laptops, smartphones and tablets are crucial in providing instant, anytime and anywhere access to life saving information. Kantar Media reports that 84 percent of doctors use smartphones on the job. Mobile devices enable clinicians and health professionals to stay connected but that access creates tremendous risk if not managed properly.
iPhones and Android devices are regularly used by doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians to check schedules, review or share lab results, imaging data as well as obtain information critical for a medical procedure. While accessing and sharing information on these devices, there’s often little regard given to the fact that this information includes protected patient information (PHI). The need for ubiquitous instant access creates significant challenges for IT professionals and compliance officers.
Hospitals, clinics, private practices, insurance companies and supporting organizations must proactively address mobile device use and information access. Without sound and enforceable policies and procedures these organizations will eventually experience a data breach leading to extensive fines and a damaged reputation resulting from non-compliance.
Here are four basic data breach prevention measures every organization should enforce:
1) Data encryption on all mobile devices
2) Password and passcode policies on all devices that can access PHI
3) Remote wipe corporate and BYOD policies
4) Reporting of any lost or stolen device that can access patient information
DriveStrike is the best most cost effective and easy to use data breach protection and remote wipe solution on the market. Our team is dedicated to delivering excellent service and solutions. Look for our upcoming solution that requires any device accessing patient information to be secured with remote wipe, encryption, and password protection.
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DriveStrike is available for less than $1.00 per device per month when protecting multiple devices.
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Spearstone, 2008 Digital IQ award recipient for IT Security, is a software development company with enterprise customers that include Wells Fargo, Pearson Learning, Logitech, Spacelabs, Sony and RemedyMD. Spearstone’s DriveStrike product provides data breach protection for computers and smartphones, including remote wipe and mobile device management.