With the world continuing to move into a more technologically driven future, the threat against virtual security is becoming much more prevalent. In the medical field, changes are being made to move patient records into electronic data bases and that means that they will become susceptible to hackers. As a result of this many insurance companies are beginning to offer protection for physicians and their patients, known as data breach protection.
When a data breach incident occurs, physicians are required by law to report the happening to a PR agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the local media. Should they fail to do so, they could face penalty fees as high as $1 million.
The data breach protection is meant to cover the cost of notifying appropriate agencies as well as offer assistance to patients whose information has been compromised. The money can also be used to repair the hospitals reputation through PR efforts. An average policy, covering five physicians costs $5,000 a year.
A survey conducted in December, 2010, found that, of the practices that had yet to implement electronic records, 30% used no anti-virus software at all. 34% had absolutely no network firewall established and 28% operated with unencrypted networks.
Though data breach is a significant concern, Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor for the Medical Group management Association, says that he would advise against purchasing the coverage if the money could be better spent in securing networks and in data protection programs.