CompTIA survey: Mobile devices adding to security threats across industries

Other industries have the same data security issues that healthcare does, and these problems are worsening as the use of mobile devices grows. That's the take-away for healthcare leaders from CompTIA's Ninth Annual Security Trends study.

Eighty-three percent of business and IT executives interviewed by the computer industry association, believe the security threat is rising. Among the main factors, according to the study, is the increasing connectivity of devices, systems and users. Social technologies, cloud computing and mobility are all helping to drive this connectivity, the report said.

About 20 percent of CompTIA's respondents said they'd lost sensitive data in the past 12 months, and 32 percent reported that they'd "probably" lost data. Among the kinds of confidential data lost were corporate financial information(65 percent), employee data such as human resources records (52 percent), customer data, such as credit card numbers (27 percent), and corporate intellectual property or trade secrets (26 percent).

Three of four organizations reported they'd had a security incident in 2011, and about half were classified as serious. Fifty-eight percent said hacking is a more critical threat than it was two years ago. However, nearly as many said that human error is also more of a factor than it was in 2010.

Recently, data security firm Redspin released an assessment of health IT security since 2009, focusing on breaches that involved more than 500 people. It found that the number of security breaches in that category jumped 97 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Redspin attributed the growth in breaches to the increasing concentration of personal health information on unencrypted portable devices and providers' lack of oversight of business associates with whom they share patient data. However, malicious attacks, including hacking, theft, and insider incidents, caused 60 percent of all breaches in 2011, about the same as the previous year.

To learn more:
- read the CompTIA announcement
- check out the Redspin announcement