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2 Healthcare Data Breaches Show Importance Of Encryption
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Andrew Hornback
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Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/6/2012 | 9:44:32 PM
re: 2 Healthcare Data Breaches Show Importance Of Encryption
"Last week, Howard University Hospital disclosed that it had notified 34,503 patients that a personal laptop of a former contractor was stolen in January from that individual's car. The laptop, according to the hospital, was password-protected, but the actual data was not encrypted."

Why in the world would a that much patient data be left on the /personal/ laptop of a /former/ contractor?!? That's flat out inexcusable.

"No evidence suggests that any of the patients' files have been accessed,"

Really? How would they know this? If the laptop containing the data was stolen, how can you logically or honestly claim that the files have not been accessed?!?

With regards to the California case, given the amount and sensitivity of the data, why not send someone to IBM's facility with a metal briefcase full of tapes handcuffed to them? Sure, it's "old school" cloak and dagger, but they wouldn't get lost. As to encrypting the tapes, that's one of the first steps to take whenever you send media off-site, whether it's for tape rotation, compliance reasons or to deliver data to another party.

I forsee job openings at both of these organizations in very short order.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor


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