May 25, 2016

The Role of IT Security In Public Safety And Health Care: Part 1

It’s easy to think of IT security as the province of private industry. With intellectual property, business strategy documents and personally identifiable information (PII) now stored internally and on the cloud, it’s no surprise that the RT network reported that the worldwide infosec market is estimated to reach $170 billion in the year 2020. Beyond corporations, SMBs and startups however, are government agencies and health care firms, tasked with protecting public safety and some of the most personal and potentially compromising data available. As a result, there’s not only a rise in IT security thought leadership and spending for these sectors, but a real need for innovation. 

How do governments and health care agencies effectively safeguard their IT infrastructure and defend public interest? How well do you think it is going

As required by the HITECH Act, the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services posts a list of breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals. In 2015, over 250 healthcare providers reported a breach affecting more than 110 million records. That staggering number is one third of the U.S. population.

So does IT Security have a significant role in protecting public safety? Absolutely. Moreover, the number of reported breaches and the sizable number of associated records highlight the critical need for a revamp in IT security thought leadership and spending in these organizations.

In the coming weeks I will submit a series of blog entries that will further explore the role of IT Security in public safety, government agencies and health care firms, discussing the unique risks & challenges that affect this sector. Stay tuned.

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