Personal liability and “secure tunnel” for sensitive data

The transmission of sensitive data is sanctioned by the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. The perpetrator of this type of offense and his / her employer risk a large fine because the sensitive data often belong to third parties. This is true for medical data and will also be valid for data from the Internet of Things.

The use of an unsecured wireless network is a common practice for physicians and business executives who spend a lot of time in airports, hotel rooms or in Wi-Fi cafés. Risk of infection by malicious software or interception of a message containing protected health information (PHI) by an unauthorized third party is very real. If you do not take precautions, anyone can take control of your mobile device when using a public Wi-Fi connection. The hacker can open, view and download information.

There are several ways to protect the sending of a PHI (Physiological Healthcare Information) health message that uses a public Wi-Fi system. The first, and the best method would be to never use a public Wi-Fi connection. Otherwise, a secure tunnel must be established.

In medical practice with a limited IT budget, the use of a virtual private network (VPN) can be considered because it encrypts the sensitive information that is sent or received. Providers offer VPN services that do not require setting up the network from the base. It is also possible to encrypt the data from the mobile terminal

Theft of laptops with unencrypted data entails very large fines for the hospital or for the owner of the terminal responsible. Many health care organizations have been cited on the “Wall of Shame” for being negligent in this regard. Sensitive health data should not be disclosed to unauthorized third parties. The same applies to all sensitive data on the Internet of Things. See also www.medpagetoday.com/  www.imedicalapps.com/

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