Absolute Software’s warning on five patient data threats
Healthcare workers laptops contain sensitive and confidential patient information
London: April 17, 2008 – As healthcare workers become increasingly mobile, transporting laptops containing sensitive patient information around with them, so does the IT security threat this poses.
Unlike some other parts of the world, UK law does not protect data kept on healthcare computer systems beyond duty of care and a professional requirement for patient confidentiality.
There has been a spate of high profile data loss incidents over the last few months including the NHS losing hundreds of thousands of patients' records, which have highlighted the need to make data kept on these computers more secure. Absolute® Software Corporation, the leader in computer theft recovery services, data protection and secure asset tracking solutions, has identified the top five computer security risks to healthcare industry:
1. Failure to protect sensitive data beyond encryption
Encryption provides strong external security, but the biggest threat is from the enemy within. Employees can get access to encrypted information as they have encryption keys and passwords. Added to this, as lost or stolen mobile computers are a big cause of data breaches, healthcare organisations must complement encryption with the ability to remotely delete data from missing computers for the highest level of data protection.
2. Inability to accurately manage mobile computer assets
How many IT managers can honestly account for all their laptops and computers at any given time? At best, only a fraction can be accounted for. Internet-based, firmware-persistent IT asset management solutions such as Absolute Software’s ComputraceOne can provide visibility into as much as 99.7% of a computer population – regardless of computer location.
3. Sensitive information on hospital terminals
Many hospitals and clinics allow information to be accessed on open-air terminals, such as ward and nursing stations. These workstations are at great risk of data breaches and information can be easily accessed and downloaded. Unattended stationary computers should always be monitored and protected with an authentication prompt.
4. Difficulty implementing a comprehensive data security plan
Healthcare facilities need to institute a comprehensive data security plan to secure computing assets and sensitive information which includes both IT and physical precautions. Asset tracking and recovery software should be part of a comprehensive approach, which also includes cable locks, encryption software and secure passwords. The plan needs to be reviewed and updated consistently to ensure maximum effectiveness.
5. Reluctance to create a data breach policy
Few healthcare facilities have ‘nightmare scenario’ policies in place should a data breach occur. In the event of a data breach, there should be a standard procedure in place to manage the event, from timely notification of supervisors to informing the police. In a data breach situation, computer theft recovery software solutions such as ComputraceOne have the capability to remotely delete sensitive files, track lost or stolen computers and partner with the local police force in order to recover them.
For more information on Absolute and its range of Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking™ solutions, please visit www.absolute.com
For more information, please contact:
Deborah Leah / Fiona Whyatt
Insight Marketing & Communications
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
+44 (0) 1625 500 800
+44 (0) 7810 834 548
Brenda Robb, Marketing Manager – EMEA
+44(0) 28 9028 4362
+44(0) 7825 924 361
EMEA Public Relations
Notes to editors
Absolute Software is the leader in Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking™ solutions. Absolute Software provides organisations and consumers with solutions in the areas of regulatory compliance, data protection and theft recovery. The Company's ComputraceOne® product works by providing a multi-layered security solution. It enables hardware assets to be automatically tracked and better managed for business, education and government and if the computer is stolen, Absolute works with local police to track and recover it. Even if the thief tries to wipe the system, this application self heals and allows the tracking process to continue.
The ComputraceOne application is loaded on the hard drive of a computer while support for the ComputraceOne agent is embedded in the BIOS or firmware. If the hard drive is reformatted or replaced, the ComputraceOne agent support in the BIOS rebuilds the necessary application files on the hard drive as required by the customer.
The ComputraceOne Technology Platform is the client/server architecture that delivers Absolute Software’s Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking™ services. Thanks to the hands-free communication (over IP or PSTN) between the secure, patented ComputraceOne agent client and the Monitoring Centre server, Absolute’s security services are exceptionally easy to manage on all computers across the enterprise.
Major computer manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Gateway, Panasonic and Motion Computing have embedded the ComputraceOne Agent in the BIOS or Firmware of their computers, to prevent ComputraceOne from being removed by unauthorised users.
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©2008 Absolute Software Corporation. All rights reserved. Computrace and Absolute are registered trademarks of Absolute Software Corporation. Computrace U.S. patents No. 5,715,174, No. 5,764,892, No. 5,802,280, No. 5,896,497, No. 6,244,758, No. 6,269,392, No. 6,300,863, and No. 6,507,914. Canadian patents No. 2,284,806 and No. 2,205,370. U.K. patents No. EP793823 and No. GB2338101. German patent No. 695 125 34.6-08. Australian patent No. 699045. The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the information contained in this news release.
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