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Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Disgruntled Dave Snoops Your Healthcare Records

Post by Peter McCalister August 17, 2011

I introduced you to Disgruntled Dave as an archetype for the type of insider villain who may already be infiltrating your extended enterprise a couple of weeks ago and guess what? Almost every day I see an article that represents “Dave” as manifesting in another company with some measurable harm that was newsworthy.

The latest article I found was at HealthcareInfoSecurity.comand showed that “Survey: Insider Threats #1 Concern.” and reported that “early results from the Healthcare Information Security Today survey shows that insider threats, such as records snooping and ID theft, are perceived to be the most significant security threats to healthcare organizations.
So it’s not surprising that, so far, the most frequently mentioned information security investment priority for the fiscal year ahead is audit logs/log management, which can be used to detect insider threats.”

What should be scary to the average healthcare consumer is that every detail of your personal information is completely available to the systems admin of your healthcare provider’s patient records system. Whether these are local to the healthcare provider’s office or stored out in the cloud, someone with full administrative privilege to that system can ultimately do whatever they want with your healthcare records, including:
copying for sale, blackmail or intimidation purposes
editing for malicious intent
deleting for covering their tracks on mismanaged care.
As we have repeatedly shown here, implementing a least privilege solution is the best way to mitigate this potential misuse of privilege and invasion of privacy.

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