When it comes to security breaches (aka hacks) most people think about financial information, passwords, or other personal information such as birth date, address, etc. Unfortunately another threat exists in today’s electronic world- personal health information. Now that most doctors and hospitals are entering our medical information into computers and forwarding it to insurance companies, pharmacies, or other 3rd parties, our personal medical information becomes extremely vulnerable.
Just today Reuters reported that personal medical information of 4.5 million people was hacked. Every physical ailment you went to a doctor for, every prescription, your height, weight, blood results, medical history, dental records, eye exams, x-rays/scans, EVERYTHING may be at risk.
I was recently at a social event hosted by a family practitioner who owns a large practice in the area and asked her about her security and what precautions she had taken. Since everything is 100% electronic in her office she needed insurance to help out financially if her data was hacked or system crashed. A condition of the insurance was she needed to hire an independent security firm to review her system, identify and report any vulnerabilities and she had to produce and implement an ‘Action Plan’ before the coverage would go into effect (at an out of pocket cost of $7,500). In addition, she backs up her files and brings home a copy each and every night in case of disaster. While this sounds like a lot of work and additional expense this is the kind of behavior I would expect from EVERYONE who has access to my personal medical information. Is this too much to ask? (coincidentally she also mentioned her server was pinged from China but denied access)
Two other articles about BlackBerry/QNX came to mind which are further proof John Chen is leagues ahead of everyone else when it comes to medical security and strategy. The first was concerning how QNX has released an OS for securing medical devices as it appears medical devices are easy to hack. The other concerns a native BlackBerry 10 app which offers security to mobile health applications (think PassPort + NantHealth). Combine this with the security of BES 10 and everyone’s mind should rest at ease.
Given the recent press I think the future looks especially bright for BlackBerry and its’ position in the lucrative mobile health arena.