How Secure Is Your Healthcare Information?
By Brian Jackson
One of the most widely talked-about topics these days is security, specifically around personal data. You may not realize it, but many companies and organizations, including government departments, hold vast amounts of information on each citizen.
We all like to think that private companies, organizations, and the government ensure that all our private information is safe and secure. However, the ugly truth proves otherwise. You only have to do a cursory Google search to reveal the extent of the problem.
For example, there was a ransomware attack in March 2020 that involved the exposure of patients’ private health information at Arkansas-based Mat-Su Surgical Associates (MTA). The staff there had discovered some patient information got encrypted by hackers.
As a result, cybercriminals have potentially amassed the personal details, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive information of around 13,136 patients. I say “potentially” because MTA cannot determine the true amount of stolen data.
Unfortunately, that’s not an isolated incident. You can check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website to see the list of current healthcare provider data breaches. Warning: it’s not a small list!
Why I Got Fed Up with Healthcare Data Breaches
For those of you that don’t know much about me, I have over two decades of experience in cybersecurity. Before I started BurstIQ with Frank Ricotta, I had several senior roles in cybersecurity, information management, and cloud engineering.
I worked for a plethora of Fortune 500 companies, and big firms involved in various sectors such as finance, transportation, and healthcare. When I first began my career journey in cybersecurity, the security holes and the potential for breaches were huge.
After spending some time working with the types of companies I mentioned earlier, it no longer shocked me how lousy data security was for a lot of industries. Much of my time got spent finding ways to break into supposedly “secure” systems to help strengthen them.
In my career experience, I would say nine times out of ten, the security issues were internal rather than external. People being people often found ways to bypass security controls to make their work easier. It’s those loopholes that can cause big problems.
As you can imagine, data breaches were a familiar yet unwanted part of life, both in my career and from a personal perspective. For me, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when my private security clearance information got stolen from a government agency in 2015!
Given that part of my career involved working on government projects, it was important that I had the right security clearance. The Office of Personnel Management is a government office that collects and stores information on people to do background clearance checks.
They don’t just store your information but also that of your family members to limit the risk of rogue employees or contractors accessing government data. The irony is my personal data got stolen from the OPM, hence why I had a letter about the data breach.
Now, you might think this was a one-off problem. But, it became an almost annual event to receive a similar notice from some provider. My case isn’t isolated, as BurstIQ’s co-founder, Frank Ricotta, also experienced the same problems.
Both Frank and I got extremely frustrated with how cybercriminals now have access to our healthcare and personal data. And that is why we set up BurstIQ together — to create a truly safe and secure platform for healthcare data.
BurstIQ: The Blockchain Data Platform Solution
Both Frank and I have more than 20 years of experience in cybersecurity. Collectively, we have the skills, knowledge, and passion for infrastructure and security. And that’s why we decided to form BurstIQ to help make everyone’s healthcare data secure.
Security isn’t something that is challenging to implement for a healthcare provider or an entity that deals with healthcare data. It just needs a common-sense approach and the right tools to get the job done.
At BurstIQ, we leverage blockchain technology that is capable of handling big data and providing the right security access levels to contributors and data managers.
Take a look at our Technology page to learn more about how our platform works and why it’s trusted by millions of people, both in the United States and beyond.