NHS has 'alarming' lack of cybersecurity measures in place for mobile devices

The U.S. isn't the only nation worried about digital health security. A new report shows that there is an "alarming" lack of cybersecurity at the National Health Service, England's health system.

The report, from produced by California-based solution vendor Accellion, maintains that there are few security measures in place for NHS-deployed mobile devices, according to SC Magazine. NHS trusts, the report note, do not have adequate training programs to guard employees against cyberthreats or protect device and data from threats.

The devices are in use as part of the NHS movement to go paperless within the next three years, according to the report. Currently, 80 percent of NHS trusts use mobile devices for accessing healthcare data, but just over half of the devices are doing so in a secured manner.

"With the increasing uptake in smart technology, this is a figure that must change in order to prevent further cyberattacks," the report's authors write.

This isn't the first trouble NHS has seen itself in when it comes to mHealth. 

Another study, published in BMC Medicine earlier this fall, found that apps offered by NHS's Health Apps Library are sharing unencrypted information. The study assessed 79 apps available in the library as of July 2013. Researchers found that 70 apps transmitted information to online services and 23 sent identifying data via the Internet without encryption. 

In addition, a good number of nurses and doctors working in the UK are using personal smartphones for clinical duties, with more than half using medical apps to share patient, FierceMobileHealthcare previously reported. However, they also discovered that a large number are sending information in an unsecured fashion.

For more information:
- here's the Accellion announcement
- read the SC Magazine article

Related Articles:
Many UK doctors, nurses use unsecured personal smartphones for work
Health app accreditation doesn't assure security of data, user privacy
Weak mobile device security bodes big risk for hospitals
Mobile device security in health industry 'immature'

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