DataMotion, an email encryption and health information service provider (HISP), offers the results of its third annual survey on corporate email and file transfer habits, revealing significant security risks. While companies in all industries increasingly have put security and compliance policies in place – nearly 90 percent of all respondents affirming that in 2014 (compared to 81 percent in 2013) – the growth is largely from healthcare entities.
More than 97 percent from the industry report their organizations as having policies in place, compared to 90.4 percent in 2013. However, challenges remain for healthcare when it comes to implementing these, ranging from low employee comprehension to policy violations. Additionally, a lack of encryption, risks in mobile device usage and low awareness of Direct Secure Messaging (Direct) pose serious issues for the highly regulated industry.
DataMotion polled more than 780 IT and business decision-makers across the U.S. and Canada. In particular, the survey focused on individuals who routinely work with sensitive data and compliance regulations in a variety of industries including healthcare, financial services, education and government.
More than 300 respondents were from healthcare. Key insights/comparisons on the industry include:
Healthcare Security and Compliance Policy: Gains Undermined by Implementation Failure
- 36 percent of healthcare respondents said within their entity, security and compliance policies are at most only moderately enforced.
- 81 percent of all respondents said employees/co-workers either occasionally or routinely violate these policies. While healthcare fared better, nearly 73 percent admitted the same.
- Key to making policies work is ensuring employee comprehension. When asked if they thought employees fully understood these types of policies, more than a third in healthcare said no, just a slight improvement over those from other industries.
- When asked about common reasons why policies are violated, 52.7 percent from healthcare said it was because employees were not aware of the policy or that they were in violation. Another 29.1 percent said employees didn’t understand policies. Most troubling,18.2 percent said policies were intentionally violated by employees to get their job done.
- These healthcare findings raise a “red flag” whereas key to passing an HHS/OCR HIPAA audit is demonstrating implementation of policies.