Data security has physical components

Data security has physical components

Keeping data safe is a matter of much more than adequate firewalls. The modern world of document protection can still be derailed by a careless employee or a physical breach of security. According to EHR INtelligence, an Indiana-based medical practice recently received an unpleasant reminder of security's physical vector when a laptop containing 55,000 personal records disappeared.

Theft equals data loss

The news source reported that the Cancer Care Group, based in Indianapolis, recently lost an employee computer to theft. The incident is significant, as the computer contained a backup of the organization's database. In the computer were the personal details of over 50,000 patients and staff members. According to EHR Intelligence, company officials have begun to re-evaluate their security procedures. The lost information included Social Security numbers and other identifiable figures.

IT security is not a wholly digital affair. While keeping information safe in mainframe servers is important, poor practices could bring it out into the world and expose it to other risk factors. Penetration testing does not have to be limited to digital breaching methods. Companies can hire firms to take stock of a facility's physical security and determine breach readiness in a variety of ways.

Going digital

Perhaps because of  the vulnerability of physical data storage, many healthcare companies are moving to the cloud. In many ways, this is a welcome change, as cloud security systems are developing quickly. It does not, however, absolve companies of the need to check their own readiness. AdvanceWeb contributor Jennifer Ford stated that there are several benefits for healthcare providers using the cloud, including financial savings and efficiency gains. She surmised that these would be enough to counterbalance lingering cloud fear, noting that many cloud providers are able to offer services that are compatible with the HIPAA data standard.