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Data Security Survey Raises Concern Regarding Health Care Privacy

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In the September 10th edition of Investor’s Business Daily, Vance Cariaga reports that the 2007 Global State of Information Security Survey, jointly conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, CIO magazine, and CSO magazine, found that 60 percent of organizations now have an overall information strategy and a chief security officer or chief information officer, up from 43 percent in 2006. The survey included responses from 7,200 IT, security, and business executives from all industries in more than 119 countries.

The survey also showed that the amount invested in practical measures is still insufficient and, also, that health care providers are still behind in their information security. For instance, less than 50 percent of health care payers do not define security baselines for external partners or vendors. And, more than half do not adequately audit the security of third parties using customer information. Sixty-five percent of health care providers do not conduct a risk assessment either annually or semi-annually, and service providers are almost twice as likely as payers not to classify data and information assets by risk level.