Healthcare Industry Rates Lowest in Cybersecurity, Report Finds | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Healthcare Industry Rates Lowest in Cybersecurity, Report Finds

May 30, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Of the four critical industries within the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, healthcare and pharmaceuticals rates lowest when it comes to cybersecurity, according to recent analysis by BitSight Technologies, a Cambridge, Mass.-based security rankings provider.

The report examines the security performance in the finance, retail, utilities, and healthcare and pharmaceutical industries from April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Industry ratings were calculated by using a simple average of the security ratings of companies in that sector.

It was found that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry experienced the largest increase in the number of security incidents over the observation time. At approximately 5.3 days, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry also experienced the longest average event duration, meaning the number of days taken to fix security issues. Retail and utilities took approximately 4.2 days, and finance took approximately 3.75 days.

According to the report, the healthcare sector has many of the same characteristics as the retail sector, including a high volume of security incidents and slow response times. While its security rating has increased over the last three quarters, there is still ample room for improvement, the report concluded.

"In our recent assessment of medical devices used in clinics and hospitals around the country, weak encryption, lack of key management, poor authentication and authorization protocols and insecure communications were all common findings," Chandu Ketkar, technical manager at the N.Y.-based Cigital, said in a statement regarding the report. "These gaps in security can lead to a compromise in data confidentiality and integrity. When sensitive data is compromised, it can not only create risks for patients, but also expose healthcare providers and device manufacturers to regulatory and business risks."



NewYork-Presbyterian, Walgreens Partner on Telemedicine Initiative

NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens are collaborating to bring expanded access to NewYork-Presbyterian’s healthcare through new telemedicine services, the two organizations announced this week.

ONC Releases Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed a framework to help health systems, large practices, health information exchanges and payers to improve their patient demographic data quality.

AMIA, Pew Urge Congress to Ensure ONC has Funding to Implement Cures Provisions

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) have sent a letter to congressional appropriators urging them to ensure that ONC has adequate funding to implement certain 21st Century Cures Act provisions.

Former Michigan Governor to Serve as Chair of DRIVE Health

Former Michigan Governor John Engler will serve as chair of the DRIVE Health Initiative, a campaign aimed at accelerating the U.S. health system's transition to value-based care.

NJ Medical Group Launches Statewide HIE, OneHealth New Jersey

The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) recently launched OneHealth New Jersey, a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that is now live.

Survey: 70% of Providers Using Off-Premises Computing for Some Applications

A survey conducted by KLAS Research found that 70 percent of healthcare organizations have moved at least some applications or IT infrastructure off-premises.