A third of healthcare professionals leave data security to chance

A transatlantic survey of more than a thousand healthcare professionals has shown that over a third are unwittingly putting personal information at risk by storing patient records, medical images, contact details, corporate data and other sensitive information on mobile devices such as laptops, BlackBerrys and USB sticks – and not adequately securing them.

The “mobile device usage in the healthcare sector” survey released today was carried out amongst senior clinicians, GPs, policy makers, IT directors, IT and general managers by mobile security experts Credant Technologies, together with E-Health Insider in the UK and Outpatient Surgery Magazine’s subscribers in the US.


In the UK, 6% admitted to storing sensitive patient details with no security whatsoever. However, this was even worse in the US, with a shocking 18% having this cavalier attitude to the information they are storing on their devices.

Although healthcare in the US is highly regulated to protect patient data with laws such as HIPAA, security practices in the US are still way below the standards upheld in the UK. In the UK, 56% of healthcare professionals are using strong security to protect their devices with 35% using encryption, 17% two factor authentication, 3% biometrics, 1% smart cards, which makes data difficult to access if you are a cracker. But in the US, just 23% were using strong security to protect their mobile devices.

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