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Thales Issues Healthcare Data Threat Report: Digitization Creates Security Risk

By Ken Briodagh February 23, 2017

Thales, a deployment house of critical information systems, cybersecurity and data security, has announced the results of its 2017 Thales Data Threat Report, Healthcare Edition, which was issued in conjunction with analyst firm 451 Research. According to the report, 81 percent of U.S. healthcare organizations and 76 percent of global healthcare organizations will increase information security spending in 2017.

In the healthcare industry, digitization is the wave of the future for data management. The digitization creates efficiency, but it comes with the risk of exposure of individual healthcare data. Despite the risks, 60 percent of U.S. healthcare respondents to the survey reported deploying to cloud, big data, and IoT and container environments without adequate data security controls. The healthcare industry is also adopting some of these technologies for sensitive data use wholesale, with 69 percent of U.S. respondents leveraging SaaS, 59 percent big data, 46 percent mobile and 35 percent IoT environments.

Meanwhile, 90 percent of U.S. healthcare respondents said they feel vulnerable to data threats and that might be why cybersecurity spending increases by U.S. healthcare companies is ahead of all other vertical markets surveyed, including the government and financial sectors.

Compliance requirements also drive data security decision-making in healthcare, according to the report, with 57 percent of respondents listing it as the top spending impetus in the U.S. Internationally, compliance ranks near the very bottom of spending drivers among global healthcare respondents, where the top two motivations for security spending are preventing data breaches and protecting reputation and brand.

Across the board, encryption is the technology of choice when it comes to protecting sensitive data residing within cloud, IoT and container environments. Sixty-five percent of U.S. healthcare respondents and 58 percent of global healthcare respondents reported opting to encrypt data in the public cloud, with the survey yielding similar numbers for IoT data.

“Globally and in the U.S., healthcare companies are under pressure,” said Peter Galvin, VP, strategy, Thales e-Security. “In Europe, we see data sovereignty's impact on security decision-making. In the U.S., digital innovation is transforming the way patient information is created, shared or stored. For healthcare data to remain safe from cyber exploitation, encryption strategies need to move beyond laptops and desktops to reflect a world of internet-connected heart-rate monitors, implantable defibrillators and insulin pumps. Adhering to the security status quo will create vulnerabilities that lead to breaches, and further erode customer trust.”

Thales will be at HIMSS to discuss the report, which can be reviewed here.




Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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