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January 2017, Vol. 5, No. 1

Providers advance in battle against data breaches in healthcare

Amid the fear, chaos and spread of data breaches in healthcare triggered by cybercriminals, there are strong signs of progress in health IT cybersecurity, according to cybersecurity experts. While healthcare has long underfunded IT security compared to industries like finance and manufacturing, that trend is changing dramatically, said information security and privacy expert Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute in Traverse City, Mich. "We're starting to see [security] budget levels in healthcare as a percentage of the total IT budget, numbers that are projected to almost double next year," Ponemon said. "A lot of the organizations that were woefully unprepared for this are going to be spending some serious resources." For 2017, financial services companies are increasing their cybersecurity outlays by 4% or 5%, but healthcare organizations are on a pace to double that, with IT security budget increases expected to top 10%, Ponemon said. "For healthcare, 2017 is the year of catchup," he added. 2016's harsh...

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