The Necessity and Challenge of Big Data in Healthcare

Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates organizations on a day-to-day basis. Big data in healthcare can include patient data like protected health information (PHI), stored data such as medical and payment records, payer and provider employee data, and data related to wired and wireless IoT (Internet of Things) medical devices which are abound in healthcare environments.

Since the passage of HIPAA and the advent of HITECH made electronic health records (EHR) and their protection mandatory within the healthcare industry, securely storing big data has become a priority. The volume of this data knows no end to growth. That is why healthcare organizations require increasingly larger datastores to house collected data.

Data scientists analyze big data for insights that lead to better operational and strategic business decisions. The healthcare industry is also discovering that, while big data is valuable in obtaining analytical insights, securing that data is more important than ever.

But healthcare organizations are not always properly prepared for managing and protecting their big data. That’s because IT departments within healthcare organizations often lack the budget necessary to bolster big data security. This puts them at risk.

Data Breaches

Data breaches, like the one that exposed nearly 38 million Anthem Health Insurance patient records, are becoming increasingly common. The healthcare industry has the highest risk factor when it comes to experiencing a data breach. Statistics show 88% of all ransomware attacks in 2016 targeted the healthcare industry.

Healthcare records are considered highly valuable to cyberattackers. This is because of the richness of personal, medical, financial information contained within each EHR. Data thieves can easily resell this information on the dark web. With access to this information, identity theft, insurance fraud, and financial fraud is committed for financial gain by criminal elements.

But data is at risk even if an organization does not suffer an outside attack. Information can be leaked internally when employees, contractors, and IT security personnel do not take the proper precautions to manage and protect their data. A proven solution for data protection is data encryption. This makes data accessible and legible only to authorized individuals who have an encryption key.

Where does Zettaset come in?

Zettaset is a leader in big data security, and an experienced data encryption provider. Security and privacy issues are magnified when it comes to big data in healthcare.

Zettaset has developed security solutions designed and optimized, from the ground up, to address the demands of big data in healthcare and other industries. Zettaset security solutions, including the Big Data Encryption Suite, are optimized for performance and scalability in the dynamic, high-volume data environments that exist within the healthcare industry.

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