What hospital CIOs can learn from the Target data breach

Last year's Target data breach, in which up to 110 million credit card numbers were stolen from the company's network, wasn't an isolated event or tough luck for one company and its customers. The fact is, such a data breach could happen to any organization, including hospitals and health systems.

An article on CIO.com offers advice for ways to avoid making the same mistakes as Target. Here's a small sample:

  1. Know which alarms you can safely ignore: Performing a thorough threat analysis is crucial, and knowing how to manage event logs, audit logs, vendor vulnerability notifications and intrusion prevention messages is critical. 
  2. Lobby for a chief information security officer (CISO): "Creating a security regimen and implementing it through the organization is really best done by a dedicated CISO--someone whose sole job is to monitor the security posture of a business and then carefully and deliberately enhance it over time," the article states. 
  3. Consider the possibility that you don't know the weakest point in your security: It's the CIO's job to "batten down the hatches." And hackers are looking where they think you're not looking. 

Top priorities for healthcare CIOs in 2013 included network security and infrastructure upgrades, according to an independent research study published last February by Level 3 Communications.

As 2012 drew to a close, healthcare CIOs also pointed to mobile healthcare and IT security as major challenges for 2013. Theresa Meadows, CIO at Cook Children's Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas, told FierceHealthIT that provider organizations will continue to incorporate mobile devices, but said that ensuring their security will be a top concern.

Many healthcare organizations are leery of cloud storage, but the solution can make sense as the data they're keeping proliferates. 

To learn more:
- read the article on CIO.com
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