Protecting Your Austin Medical Practice: 2015 IT Security Risks

Austin Medical Practices Face IT Security Risks

Austin medical practices and healthcare facilities, like medical practices throughout the country, face increased healthcare IT security threats.  This is not really new news.  But the Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data (conducted by the Ponemon Institute). a survey of 90 healthcare organizations and 88 of their business associates, reveals some interesting data on the trends in occurrence of security breaches and their evolving nature.

Criminal Attacks Are Now the Leading Cause of Healthcare Data Breaches

One of the most interesting findings is that for the first time the number one source of healthcare data breaches are criminal attacks.  Of these attacks, forty-five percent say it was due to an outside attack and twelve percent say it was due to a malicious activity by an organization insider.  These data breaches are different from ones caused by team members accidentally leaving a laptop or mobile phone at Starbucks.  They are the result of criminals who recognize the amount of valuable personal electronic information that medical practices and facilities now manage and that many do not actively secure.  The study showed that there has been a 125 percent increase in the number of these attacks over just the last five years. And over the last five years, medical identity theft has nearly doubled from 1.4 million victims to 2.3 million victims. At the same time, medical practices face increased civil and criminal penalties for failing to secure protected patient data.

Austin Medical Practices Face Growth in Overall Healthcare IT Breaches As Well

The data also had several other key findings that showed that medical organizations face an increase in overall security breaches that many simply aren’t prepared for. Ninety-one percent of healthcare organizations and fifty-nine percent of their business associates experienced a data breach last year.  Forty percent of healthcare organizations had had more than five data breaches over the last two years. The Ponemon Institute estimates that these breaches cost the industry in excess of six billion dollars annually, with an average data breach cost of $2.1 million. The investment in securing protected patient data has not kept pace with the nature and increase of the threats.  Half of the healthcare organizations surveyed had little or no confidence in their abilities to detect all patient data loss.  Incredibly, forty percent of healthcare organizations say they are not concerned about cyber attacks.

Protecting your patients’ medical data is increasingly critical for the health and security of your medical practice.  Though it’s tempting and everybody in the medical arena is hugely busy, the best option is not to put your head in the sand.  Magnet Solutions Group’s Austin managed IT services  can provide you with the security you and your patients require across all of your network–including team members who are ‘bring your own device.’  And our experienced IT professionals can consult with you on specific HIPAA and other medical data security concerns.