BYOD creates special security challenges at hospitals

BYOD at healthcare organizations creates special security challenges for IT departments. While doctors are demanding to use their smartphones and tablets to access patient data, federal regulations require strong security measures to keep patient data secure. Failure to comply could result in hefty fines.

That is why healthcare organizations that allow BYOD need to ensure that mobile devices accessing their network have built-in security and encryption features, argues August Calhoun, vice president and general manager at Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences.

These devices should have two forms of authentication, such as a password and fingerprint scan or swipe card. "The last thing you need is a doctor losing a tablet or smartphone that can be used by anyone to access your network," argues Calhoun in a blog.

The data being accessed should remain in the data center and not reside on the mobile devices. "Connected security starts with housing all your data and applications in a secure data center, creating virtual desktops for all users and eliminating storage of data from all devices not housed in the data center. This creates a layer of security around the web of older applications and data silos that exist in many hospitals, instantly reducing their vulnerability," Calhoun says.

The Dell exec recommends that healthcare organizations use tools to enable easy access to the apps and data while keeping the data safe behind the firewall: hardware with encryption and other security features; USB and drop box encryption; next generation firewalls that can do deep packet inspection; identity and access control tools; proactive surveillance and data center management tools.

"While creating an effective, connected security system isn't cheap or easy, it is an investment that is necessary and long overdue in healthcare. Considering the cost of a single data breach, in terms of fines and damage to your organization's reputation, the cost of upgrading security is comparatively cheap," Calhoun concludes.

For more:
- read Calhoun's blog

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