An unencrypted laptop computer that's missing from the United Kingdom's National Health Service North Central London health authority contained information on 8.63 million people, according to a report on The Sun newspaper's website.
If you need one more reason to take additional steps to prevent health information breaches, here's something to consider. An attorney argues that if breaches, and their high costs, are not brought under control, "I think where we are headed is to an insurance crisis."
The federal list of major healthcare information breaches that have occurred since September 2009 didn't grow much in the past month. The list now includes 272 cases affecting a total of almost 10.9 million individuals.
"Raising the security awareness of your workforce is your best defense against having a breach incident," says David Holtzman, who's on the federal team that enforces the HITECH Act breach notification rule.
Well-publicized health information breach incidents are serving as important reminders that paying attention to the physical security of data centers is a vital component of any information security strategy.
Three recent breach incidents, each involving the loss or theft of back-up drives, illustrate that some organizations are doing a better job than others in informing consumers about the steps they're taking to prevent more breaches.
Although many organizations are using encryption to protect data on mobile devices, they're often overlooking other important ways to prevent health information breaches, says Terrell Herzig, information security officer at UAB Medicine.