Sophos Continues to Help Healthcare Customers Safeguard Patient Information and Comply with Industry Regulations

February 25, 2011 Sophos Press Release

Press

Global IT security and data protection firm Sophos announced today it will be exhibiting at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference (Booth # 5178) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on March 21-23, 2011. Sophos is Gold Corporate Member of HIMSS and continues to help the healthcare sector comply with industry and government regulations that require the safeguarding of health information data.

THE CHALLENGE FOR HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS AND AFFILIATES

According to the latest report from the Office for Civil Rights, theft and loss of data continues to be the top causes of health information breaches and a recent Penomon Institute study found that data breaches cost healthcare providers $6 billion annually.

With the increase of industry and government regulations such as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), frequent amendments to these guidelines; and a more mobile environment where doctors, patients, staff, and business affiliates access and exchange confidential healthcare information via laptops, smartphones, and other devices, healthcare organizations must have in place security and data protection technologies, security policies, and the ability to prove compliance when audited.

POTENTIAL NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF POORLY PROTECTED DATA

According to HHS.gov, the fines for non-compliance with the HIPAA privacy regulation have increased significantly with the introduction of the HITECH Act. An organization can now be fined up to $1,500,000 per calendar year for each violation. For those organizations that do not properly protect confidential healthcare information open themselves up to an array of negative consequences such as fines, law suits, lost business, and many others.

In 2009, Health Net Inc. lost an unencrypted portable disk drive containing more than 500,000 Connecticut-based enrollee records and more than 1.5 million consumers nationwide, according to the state’s Attorney General. The drive stored more than 28 million scanned, unencrypted pages of documentation ranging from membership forms, claims, appeals, grievances and medical records, and contained personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, residential addresses, social security numbers, and bank account numbers. The healthcare organization was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and was required to provide a corrective action plan as part of the settlement. This organization is not alone. Per the HITECH ACT, breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals must be reported to the Secretary. Visit HHS.gov to view the latest list.

PREVENTION VIA SOPHOS SECURITY AND DATA PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."— Benjamin Franklin

Sophos helps healthcare organizations improve:

Protecting web, email, and the endpoint against known and unknown malware threats, data loss, device control, and application controls Sophos offers the following solutions to organizations:

More facts and Sophos data protection resourceshere

Visit us at HIMMS at Booth # 5178 or email our Healthcare Sector Team

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 50 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations have offices in Chicago, Washington, DC, Brussels, Singapore, Leipzig, and other locations across the United States. HIMSS represents more than 30,000 individual members, of which two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 470 corporate members and more than 85 not-for-profit organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, and research initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at www.himss.org.