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Data Privacy and Security Risks In Healthcare Industry

Just like other mainstream businesses, the healthcare industry also faces the risks of data breaches and other data privacy and security issues. A lot of personal information is shared between the patients and practitioners so as to benefit from their collaboration. Lots of people are involved and the industry has its own set of immediate priorities and pressures. Today, we have an entirely automated healthcare system, where all records are kept via electronic medium. This data includes the personal health records of patients, clinical data, warehousing and an increase in transparency means that there exist higher risk of data privacy and security.

Major Healthcare Data Breaches

According to the major healthcare data breaches reported during the past years, the most common threats to data privacy and security include data theft, unauthorised access, improper disposal of data, data loss, hacking IT incidents and more.

BYOD Policy

The BYOD, that is, Bring Your Own Device Policy, which is being adopted at several hospitals, is a risk to the data privacy of patients and healthcare units and organisations. It is extremely important to improve data privacy and security within the various mobile health devices. While at one point doctors enjoy viewing patients information and receive clinical information via mobile apps, people are getting more and more access to data, risking security.

Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks are a clear and present threat to every industry, including the healthcare industry. It is difficult to protect one’s assets from cyber attacks. Cyber thieves most often dig into the information related to billing and insurance records. The reason is obvious – the thieves try to find out crucial information like security numbers, credit card info, etc., that can prove beneficial to them in monetary terms.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is used widely in the healthcare industry and it has its own set of security issues. According to stats, over 13% of the cloud services used in the healthcare industry are at high risk and, about 77% of them are at medium risk.

Mistaking Compliances

Often people mistake a compliant organization for a secure one. However, more than often, compliances turn out to be a more risky affair. It gives rise to external threats to critical information.

Medical Identity Theft

Healthcare providers need to secure access to all their clinical applications since there have been cases of medical theft identity. Hackers used patients’ data to initiate their access into the information and get going with their way to more.

See also: Why Healthcare Is Becoming A Hackers Paradise


If we listen to the various security experts, these data breaches within the healthcare industry will continue for more time. The reason that we are using mobile and cloud platforms in the healthcare industry will make it more vulnerable to the attack of extruders. We have to be aware of all the risks so as to get through all the possible threats to data privacy and security for the healthcare industry.

Published on May 13, 2015
Hardeep Singh
Written by Hardeep Singh
Outreach Manager @appknox. #ProactiveAlways towards Social Media, Startups and Tech Evangelism.


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