Database breaches remain healthcare vulnerability

The healthcare industry boasts three times the number of data breaches as the financial industry so far this year. The most frequent causes include lost and stolen laptop computers, back-up tapes, hard drives and other portable media.

Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in New York provides an example. A FedEx package it sent to its billing processor carried CDs with unencrypted data. FedEx lost the shipment--and along with it the personal information of more than 130,000 of Lincoln's patients.

Lax data-handling procedures for storage and access within databases, along with data portability, are big parts of the problem. Another reason is past-prime gear: "Healthcare database technology is still older and a lot of it is proprietary," says a data security consultant in Dark Reading.

- see the Dark Reading article

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