The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has laid it out in black and white for heathcare providers to see: A recent survey by HIMSS found that too many healthcare providers are failing to deploy security basics, such as antimalware tools, firewalls and encryption.
Lee Kim, director of privacy and security at HIMSS, says she’s troubled that more than 20 percent of acute facilities (hospitals are those associated with hospitals) are failing to use firewalls. Further, more than half of non-acute facilities (physician’s offices, mental health facilities, etc.) are failing to encrypt data at-rest or data in-transit.
Even with something as basic as antivirus and antimalware tools, only 84.9 percent of acute and 90.3 of non-acute facilities are using these tools. Acute facilities are defined as hospitals that treat patients and conduct surgeries, while non-acute facilities are more long-term care units, assisted living or other facilities to care for elderly patients.
“I think our number for antivirus and antimalware has to be more in excess of 99 percent,” she says. “I would have felt much better if the acute facilities approaches a B-plus, but it was more like a B-minus.”