PLANTATION, Fla. — Thales e-Security, a provider of data protection solutions, projects 81% of U.S. healthcare organizations and 76% of global healthcare organizations will increase information security spending in 2017.
The market forecast is part of the firm’s newly released “2017 Thales Data Threat Report, Healthcare Edition,” which was produced in conjunction with analyst firm 451 Research. The numbers are reflective of an industry undergoing rapid technological and social change in the form of electronic health records and increasingly digitized personal health data, according to Thales.
Double-Edged Sword of Digitization
In the healthcare industry, digitization is the wave of the future for data management. The digitization creates efficiency, but it comes with the risk of exposure of individual healthcare data. Despite the risks, 60% of U.S. healthcare respondents to the survey reported deploying to cloud, big data, and IoT and container environments without adequate data security controls. The healthcare industry is also adopting some of these technologies for sensitive data use wholesale, with 69% of U.S. respondents leveraging SaaS, 59% big data, 46% mobile and 35% IoT environments.
Meanwhile, 90% of U.S. healthcare respondents said they feel vulnerable to data threats and that might be why cybersecurity spending increases by U.S. healthcare companies is ahead of all other vertical markets surveyed, including the government and financial sectors.
Compliance requirements also drive data security decision-making in healthcare, according to the report, with 57% of respondents listing it as the top spending impetus in the U.S. Internationally, compliance ranks near the very bottom of spending drivers among global healthcare respondents, where the top two motivations for security spending are preventing data breaches and protecting reputation and brand.
Encryption Plays Larger Role in Healthcare Data Protection
Across the board, encryption is the technology of choice when it comes to protecting sensitive data residing within cloud, IoT and container environments. Sixty-five percent of U.S. healthcare respondents and 58% of global healthcare respondents reported opting to encrypt data in the public cloud, with the survey yielding similar numbers for IoT data.
“Globally and in the U.S., healthcare companies are under pressure,” says Peter Galvin, vice president, strategy, Thales e-Security. “In Europe, we see data sovereignty’s impact on security decision-making. In the U.S., digital innovation is transforming the way patient information is created, shared or stored. For healthcare data to remain safe from cyber exploitation, encryption strategies need to move beyond laptops and desktops to reflect a world of internet-connected heart-rate monitors, implantable defibrillators and insulin pumps. Adhering to the security status quo will create vulnerabilities that lead to breaches, and further erode customer trust.”