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Health Care Sector Faces Rising Pressure to Bolster Data Security

30/05/2014 by


After the massive data breaches reported by Target, Neiman Marcus and other store chains, the retail industry has faced plenty of criticism for cyber-security lapses.

Yet, the health care industry shows signs of having just as big a data security problem, one that places at risk personal information considered even more sensitive than credit-card data, according to a number of recent reports.

In studies published in the past four months, data collected from the Internet has shown that health care companies continue to expose their networks and patient data to online thieves. In February, the SANS Institute published a report based on data from threat intelligence firm Norse that found online evidence of breaches at 375 health care-related organisations.

A second report, released by security metrics firm BitSight earlier this week, found that the health care industry scored lower than the retail sector, on average, in security ratings calculated from externals signs of infections.

Because the sensitivity of patient records, and the problems posed by health care fraud, the health care industry needs to put greater focus on bolstering the security defenses around medical records, Stephen Boyer, CEO of BitSight, told eWEEK.

“We know that retail is certainly being covered now, but our fear is that health care seems to have flown under the radar and there doesn’t seem to be the same transparency there,” he said.

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