A laptop belonging to an employee of St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis was stolen from the worker’s residence. That laptop contained medical history details and Social Security numbers of 1,200 hospital patients–and of course the data is not encrypted or protected in any way.
Rex McKinney, St. Vincent Hospital privacy officer stated, “We are committed to protecting the confidentiality and privacy of our patients and will continue to implement administrative, technical and physical safeguards against unauthorized disclosures of protected health information.”
That is all well and good, but in order to “continue” implementing safeguards you would have to have implemented some in the first place. The article also states that the hospital is taking “precautionary steps to avoid future incidents.”
The thing is that implementing controls in response to an incident after data has already been compromised is not “precautionary”–it’s reactionary. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance requirements already mandate that the data should have been protected to begin with. Putting basic protection in after the fact is hardly heroic or praiseworthy–it’s just public relations damage control.
When will organizations–particularly medical and educational institutions–learn that implementing solutions like Zecurion’s Zserver Storage is a simple, cost-effective solution that can prevent incidents like these and save the organization from facing the legal, financial, and reputation consequences of compromising sensitive data?