Here’s a headline getting a lot of attention in the past 24 hours: “Stolen Laptops Mean $2M in Mega Fines.”
Two companies were recently dinged by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to the tune of $1.7 Million and $250,000 respectively. Both HIPAA-related cases involved unencrypted laptops that were stolen, one taken from a company’s own facility, the other from an employee’s car.
According to the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) press release, protected health information (PHI) was left vulnerable because of the breaches, specifically noting that one of the stolen laptops contained ePHI of 148 individuals.
If you’re a healthcare company not taking data security seriously there can be significant implications. OCR’s deputy director of health information privacy made it very clear that finger-pointing won’t be tolerated: “Covered entities and business associates must understand that mobile device security is their obligation” and responsibility.
Healthcare providers must take proactive measures to secure their data to make themselves less vulnerable to such breaches, not to mention the public backlash if a security issue does occur.
One such solution that helps to address security concerns is our NaviCloud Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), which enables providers to better protect their data and their patients. DaaS is a cloud-based virtual desktop solution that enables users to log-in and access their files from any computer. With DaaS, doctors and other healthcare professionals can access patient files, applications, and information from any computer.
Perhaps the main benefit (amongst many) from a security standpoint is that DaaS users gain access via what is referred to as a non-persistent desktop experience, which means when the employee logs off or ends a session, none of the data remains on the device. In addition, the solution prevents users from saving data to the local device or on a removable storage drive. All that protected, confidential patient information stays right where it belongs: securely stored on the cloud.
Being careless with secure data is proving to have major consequences. Don’t be caught off guard. Take the appropriate steps to safeguard your organization and the confidentiality of your patients.