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Lee Barrett Explains How Abundance of Health Data Increases Risk of Breaches

As the amount of healthcare data and information exchange continues to grow, so does the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks, according to Lee Barrett, executive director of the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission.


As the amount of healthcare data and information exchange continues to grow, so does the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks, according to Lee Barrett, executive director of the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission.

Transcript (slightly modified)

Increasingly healthcare organizations are looking to share data to improve care. In what ways are they opening themselves up to data breaches?

The key with all that comes down to just the fact that there’s a lot more data, there’s a lot more various connection points and data exchange points for organizations, so every time there’s another data exchange point or there’s more data, more information, just increases the risk for a breach, an incident, a cyber ransomware attack. So, the issue with all of it comes down to, organizations assessing their protected health information flow, all their various flows, all their connection points.

We’re getting to the point now where we’re also getting more patient-centered applications and providing patient-centered services for care coordination, so patients are getting more access as well. All these various connection points just add risk, add threats, and we need to work with organizations to ensure they’re doing appropriate risk analysis, determining where their gaps are, their vulnerabilities, and mitigating those as quickly and as efficiently as they possibly can.

It’s no longer a matter of whether or not an organization can stop an attack. It’s a matter of when an attack is going to occur for an organization and therefore what kind of risk mitigation strategy as well as preparedness planning they’ve gone through to really reduce the amount of impact to that organization.

 
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