Data Privacy in Healthcare

February 18, 2019

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The rapidly increasing assimilating exceedingly diverse aided data generating technology in medical, healthcare and biomedical fields and the ever-growing data availability at central locations used in an urgent need of any organization from pharmaceutical manufacturers to health insurance companies to hospitals have primarily made healthcare organizations and its sub-sectors face a flood of big data experienced as never before. While data is being addressed as a crucial component of improving health outcomes, gaining valuable insights and lowered costs, the data privacy and security issues are quite overwhelming that the healthcare industry is not able to take complete advantage of it with the current owning resources. Managing and binding the critical power of data, however, is important for the success of any healthcare organization. It is this context that this article targets to present the data security and privacy issues as applied to healthcare industry while discussing some accessing strategies and mechanisms available for data security and privacy of users.

Hacking has turned out to be the leading cause of attacks on data privacy and breaches. Motivation for such attacks range from any intent of committing fraud, profiting from a selling packaged identity, an unauthorized hospital insider viewing the health records of any movie star; for a financial gain or just to challenge the security system. Data privacy Risks branch from numerous sources: increased motivation, opportunity, or lack of understanding in this health care community in the name of technology.

The cyber security unrestricted community feels it to be too easy to attack any IP address on internet as research has brought light to the proliferation of data attacks happening to a rout-able IP address.

Today’s dynamically-changing technology-use of mobile devices, social media, IoT (the Internet of Things), and cloud storage-put forward a rapidly growing number of access points. Security strength may vary widely. Available data resources about a user can easily be used to exploit items of high value like any medical identity and financial assets. Technology gets even more complex with the attacks emerging from simple viruses, to complicated malwares exposing systems, applications, and networks on various levels of information. Though, a lot of attacks still use simple methods like default passwords for getting access to data with a malicious intent.

Many healthcare and legacy research organizations still haven’t fully adapted to the highly accelerated data privacy risks associating with healthcare industry, whereas a number of cutting-edge organizations have already started to embrace using secure configurable systems that has displaced the IT data attacks. Adoption of any digital technology may outpace the enactment of apt safeguards for security and privacy, in addition to the ability of anticipating and responding to potential threats. The volatile growth of digitally connected devices containing medical information and related data integration into the back-end systems which also contains critical data which may even enable the access to new compromises. Not surprisingly, health care industry have had the largest increase in the count of potential data attacks surfacing any industry.

Of interest to effective data security and privacy in the healthcare industry every user should be robustly acknowledged and identified, along with undertaking their permission so as to grant and monitor accessibility to an application that may trace any related data that licenses any third party system to view, or modify data.

The development of any privacy risk assessment strategy help educate users about risks and benefits of data privacy, with healthcare industry mapping it, describing the actions need to be taken for protecting the collected data, and what a user should expect relating to the possible exposure, while providing the basic guidance of assessing a risk.


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