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Network Security


A new prescription for building trust online


Only four out of 100 adults access healthcare services online. Here’s how to reach the other 96 percent. By Jeff Barnett


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he effort to access and manage healthcare information online is well underway, and for good reason: it’s one way healthcare pro- viders and health plans can rein in the cost of administering care. But adoption has been slow. Consumers are worried that placing their health and medical records online also places their information – and their identities – at risk. Nearly 1.5 million Americans have suffered from medical identity theft, at a cost of approximately $20,000 per victim.1 Meanwhile, security threats to healthcare Web sites and externally facing Web portals are mount- ing. In September 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began requiring healthcare organizations to alert any individual whose information may have been compromised from a se- curity breach. Since then, more than 150 healthcare organizations have reported breaches2 that, according to HHS, have put more than 5 million people and their personal information at risk.


healthcare organizations allow access to their net- works from personal or home computers.3 That’s more than any other industry segment, and it begs the question: What are these organizations doing to protect patient data? And more importantly, what safeguards will work best?


Organizations looking to provide access to records and services should consider implementing proven measures that demonstrate to consumers that they are dealing with a legitimate entity committed to protecting their personal information.


Building trust online


As banks and e-commerce giants already know, establishing trust online is a prerequisite for loyal, lasting relationships with consumers. But online healthcare services present unique challenges. Consumers view medical information as particularly sensitive, a fact that is reflected in new privacy regulations and mandates. And with more consumers communicating with their


Jeff Barnett is the healthcare industry lead for the Symantec User Authentication Group. For more information on Symantec solutions: www.rsleads.com/012ht-208


physicians via e-mail, selecting coverage plans online and making payments from mobile devices, the need to build trust has become not just inevitable, but urgent.


With these statistics, it is no wonder consumers worry whether their patient data is safe online, and who might have access to it. In fact, they may be surprised to learn that an estimated 67 percent of


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That’s why organizations looking to provide access to records and services should consider implementing proven measures that demonstrate to consumers that they are dealing with a legitimate entity committed to protecting their personal information. Among them: • Strong authentication: Strong authentication


HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com


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