Medical records are ten times more valuable than data of other industries, making the healthcare industry an enticing target for hackers. Healthcare providers, insurers, and other authorized parties need a way to share patient data with absolute security, and without reducing productivity.
Current methods are prone to hacks and breaches. Electronic health exchange across organizations or within a hospital system opens doors to potential threats. Information transferred physically via flash drives within a facility is similarly exposed. Cyberattacks compromise the personal health information (PHI) for millions of people annually. Just a few short months ago, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield discovered a breach that exposed data for 10.5 million of its insurance customers.
This is just one of many examples where the proper application of encryption technology across the entire IT infrastructure can protect information behind the firewall, as well as when it gets transferred over the public Internet. Hospitals, insurers, and local healthcare providers have no choice but to seek better protection for PHI data, adding a formidable layer of security against the continued onslaught from hackers.
Hardware-enabled cryptographic technologies already in use across many industries will enable healthcare companies to apply the privacy and security framework within the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Safeguards Principles. It starts with hardware-encrypted “Black Keys” that add a layer of security on top of standard TLS encryption. This approach guarantees that only those systems with verifiable keys can view files. Unlike software-only encryption, Black Keys are never readable in plaintext and are not exposed to the software or memory. Should a security event be detected, the keys are “zero-ized”, rendering the keys and files useless and protecting PHI data (files) from intentional or unintentional use or exposure.
It’s imperative that this encryption technology operates in the background and is invisible to the end user. Heightened security should not hinder the ability of hospital systems and its employees to be productive, nor should it limit collaboration between the healthcare providers and authorized third-parties (like insurers). Quite the opposite should occur. This level of encryption should give users peace of mind and lift the fear of violating regulations by retaking control of their data no matter where it is stored or how it is shared.