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May 2013

The tangled web: BYOD and HIPAA

The bring-your-own-device, also known as BYOD or consumerization, era is upon us. CIOs familiar with BYOD security we’ve interviewed at HIMSS and the PHI Protection Network tell us that there’s no way to stop it, you can only contain it. If you’re lucky. While presenting the risks of alloying BYOD to senior hospital leadership don’t forget the biggest risk of all: Inaction or an outright ban. Employees will use their smartphones to text each other about patient care matters, which probably won’t amount to HIPAA-compliant practices. They’ll email patient data to each other. Physicians will set up rogue wireless access points to support devices they bring in, opening up your network to unsavory outside entities who cannot believe their good fortune in finding a backdoor to financial and medical identity theft. Without policies to enforce and security software to monitor devices, lock down the network, encrypt data and remotely wipe lost or stolen devices, the cost of inaction could very well be a data breach in your company’s near...

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