HIPAA, known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is a federal law put into place to protect the sensitive information of medical patients across the United States. Any entity that handles protected health information (PHI), whether it be a hospital, a medical doctor, or an insurance company, must ensure the security and privacy of this information. However, we have seen a staggering amount of cases where private health information has been compromised, leading us to question the data security measures that are in place at these medical facilities.
According to the healthcare IT organization Redspin, over 29 million patients have had their sensative medical information breached since 2009. And, from 2012, there has been a 138% increase in HIPAA data breaches. While data breaches can occur any number of ways, Redspin’s reports indicated that approximately 83% of the data breaches were in result of theft.
What is interesting to note, however, is that data breaches involving less than 500 individuals’ health information do not have to be publicly reported. So, this 29 million figure compiled by Redspin and reported to the Office of Health and Human Services is actually closer to 40-45 million, according to Lisa Gallagher, the senior director of privacy and security for HIMSS.
So, how can HIPAA compliant organizations protect themselves and the protected health information of their patients?
Most of these breaches could have been prevented by simply putting better security and privacy measures in place. Through regular risk analysis, timely system updates, and updating company policies, HIPAA compliant organizations can better avoid massive data breaches. Nonetheless, to be foolproof, greater security measures must be taken to ensure that the protected health information of medical patients is not at risk.
While a structured security protocol and a strict set of company policies can help deter data breaches, encrypted data storage devices take data security to the next level. In comes Kanguru’s line of encrypted data storage devices.
Kanguru incorporates a number of encryption and data security measures that small to large organizations can benefit from, including:
- AES Hardware Encryption - Advanced Encryption Standard is a specification standard employed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This cryptographic module is used around the globe by military, government, financial institutions, and medical organizations for encrypting and decrypting data. The 256-bit AES hardware encryption used on Kanguru USB flash drives, hard drives, and solid state drives provides the highest level of hardware encryption, ensuring your data files are secure.
- Highly Certified FIPS 140-2 - The Kanguru Defender series features both USB flash drives and external drives that are FIPS 140-2 certified. The FIPS 140-2 certificate, which is a joint collaboration between the NIST of the US and the CSE (Communication Security Establishment) of Canada, provides government guidelines regarding the security evaluation for cryptographic modules.
- Onboard Antivirus Software - Built into the Kanguru Defender external drives, the onboard antivirus software adds an additional layer of protection for your Kanguru data storage device.
- Kanguru Remote Management Console (KRMC) - With KRMC, admins of Kanguru data drives can remotely manage their Kanguru device from anywhere. Track, monitor, wipe, or delete your Kanguru data files with ease.
With these amazing features, Kanguru puts a huge emphasis on the security, privacy, and accessibility of protected health information, something all medical organizations need to take into account.
In addition to the useful security features, Kanguru’s data storage devices are TAA (Trade Agreements Act) compliant, making them a viable option for governmental organizations and offices to purchase using government resources. With high quality, high performance, and high standards, Kanguru data storage devices are second to none with regards to keeping the protected health information of medical patients safe and secure.
Utilizing Kanguru’s Defender flash drives can be a huge benefit for smaller medical organizations, such as small private practices. For larger entities, like hospitals and insurance firms, Kanguru offers a line of Defender hard drives and solid state drives.
Kanguru is a global leader in providing secure data security management solutions to educational institutions, enterprises, and consumers with the best data storage solutions. For more information on Kanguru, please visit www.kanguru.com.