The Role Encryption Plays in Protecting Healthcare Data, Driving Innovation

By Ameesh Divatia, CEO and co-founder | October 3, 2018

As the healthcare industry continues to go digital to meet patient demand and data-driven regulations, it has been heavily targeted by hackers, as patient records offer a treasure trove of financial, personal and medical information that’s profitable on the dark web.

A recent JAMA Network study revealed there were 2,149 data breaches at healthcare organizations from 2010-2017. Not properly securing patient data can cost healthcare organizations millions in lost business, remediation efforts, regulatory fines and reputation damage. In fact, the healthcare industry has the highest breach-related costs of any industry at $408 per record, according to a study by IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute.

This fear of the data breach is inhibiting some healthcare organizations from adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that can help advance breakthrough medical research. They know that in order to apply these new technologies, they need to be certain that sharing data and migrating to the cloud will not compromise patient privacy, safety and data security.

One way to address these concerns is to implement strong encryption techniques into data protection policies and procedures. With our patented technology, Baffle is the only company that can encrypt data at rest, in use, in memory and in the search index without impacting the application using AES encryption. We’re also the first company to enable secure data processing on a commercial application and database to guarantee data protection.

The need to protect healthcare data is particularly critical due to the regulations that mandate electronic protected health information (e-PHI). Our solution identifies e-PHI data and where it’s stored and processed across on-premise and cloud-based databases – ensuring organizations can identify and encrypt all of its e-PHI data. There are also elements of our solution that could help organizations avoid the requirement for data breach notification when data is lost, as HIPAA regulations allow an exception if the compromised data is not readable or decipherable.

To read more about how new encryption solutions can spur healthcare cloud market growth, check out this blog by Analysts Saurabh Vakil and Jim Davis at Edge Research Group. They provide a great overview of the challenges data sharing and cloud computing present to healthcare organizations, the role encryption plays in data protection, and how Baffle’s advanced data protection solution can help encourage the healthcare industry to use the transforming innovations that are making great strides to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes.