Report: Mobile devices' portability contributing to data losses

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 20, 2012

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An analysis of breaches affecting 500 or more people reported to the Dept. of Health and Human Services by Redspin, an IT security and auditing company, found that the portability of data is increasing the risk of breaches. Redspin published its "Breach Report 2011" in January.

Of the 385 breach incidents reported to HHS from 2009 to November 2011, 151 occurred from a laptop or other portable device. Redspin predicts that because of the popularity of tablet computers and smartphones, "the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better."

Of these incidents, 55% involved unencrypted devices or files. "The federal government is unlikely to mandate that all portable devices that store [electronic personal health information] be encrypted, but it's an obvious and sensible policy for a health care organization to adopt," the report said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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