On Tuesday, NextGov.com reported that 40 different rural healthcare networks across the nation will receive nearly $12 million in federal funding to assist in covering the costs associated with the acquisition of more advanced healthcare IT and electronic health record systems. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stressed the importance of this funding in order to “bring our healthcare system into the 21st century,” and furthermore that the procurement of state-of-the-art healthcare IT would help to “ensure the delivery of quality care to some of the most remote areas of our country.”
But yesterday, a more alarming report from the same news source, NextGov.com, raised some extremely disconcerting questions regarding the very real and ever-present threat of cybercrime and data breaches in the healthcare industry. This article illustrated the main findings of a report also from the Department of Health and Human Services where they found, in a study of a recent 15-month period that “more than 7.8 million people had their medical information compromised by 252 major security breaches.” These numbers are alarmingly high and further highlight the need for healthcare organizations to secure private client data.
While $12 million may sound like a fairly large amount of funding, it is unfortunate, but extremely likely, that it will stretch rather thin due to the high costs of advanced medical equipment. Once you factor in the average costs of protecting private patient information from such risks as found in the HHS report, the challenge to make significant improvements in IT infrastructure becomes even greater. In order for these healthcare networks to extend real benefits of their federal grant funding, it is imperative for them to adequately secure their sensitive patient information by complying with HIPAA regulations, all the while keeping security costs low.
There is an answer to this challenge. Gazzang ezNcrypt enables healthcare organizations that leverage any application, database or files running on a Linux operating system to encrypt, decrypt and access their data in real time. Out of the box, this platform-as-a-service product leverages transparent data encryption and a patent-pending key storage system which meets all of the requirements for HIPAA compliance. Additionally, ezNcrypt requires no expensive changes to existing applications or databases and can be up and running in a day (no consulting costs).
There are many data security products on the market today and it’s difficult to know who is real and transparent and who is going to leave you in a lurch – cleaning up a data breach mess. For this reason, we offer a demo of ezNcrypt to show you how it's done. Check it out here.
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OR, to read more on the health care data breaches: