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Healthcare Cloud Application Usage Increases in 2015

A recent Dell study shows healthcare cloud application is growing, despite data security concerns.

By Jacqueline LaPointe

- Recent research studies from Dell further show the need for better healthcare cloud security, as more organizations are adopting healthcare cloud applications.  

Healthcare cloud usage discussed in Dell research

For example, healthcare cloud application usage made a significant jump between 2014 and 2015, according to the Dell Global Technology Adoption Index 2015. Cloud adoption increased from 25 percent in 2014 to 41 percent in 2015 in the healthcare field. 

Dell reviewed the global technology adoption of cloud services, mobility solutions, security measures, and big data implementation. However, healthcare stood out from the majority of industries surveyed because of unique concerns about compliance and data breaches.

Providers also increased the use of private on premise cloud services, such as email, access to databases, disaster recovery, and human resources, to 46 percent in 2015. This is up 4 percentage points from 2014.

The survey shows that healthcare providers have additional concerns about data security than other industries.  Their security strategies center more on compliance over protection from hackers. 

Adhering to compliance regulations in the healthcare field increased from 36 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2015.  Overall, compliance decreased across all industries surveyed.

Dell Chart on Healthcare Cloud Usage

Commercial healthcare providers face more of a challenge with compliance.  With a move to electronic health records and increased interoperability, healthcare IT systems contain a wider array of PHI than other industries.  Data security vulnerabilities pose a serious threat to patients and providers.

Researchers also reported that 48 percent of healthcare organizations think big data is important, but they are uncertain about big data strategies, including data security.

Additionally, the top concerns for healthcare providers with mobile strategies are risk of data breach, risk of data being on employed owned devices, and complexity of managing multiple devices. 

Dell Chart on Healthcare Data Security

Another recent research report from Dell discussed data security concerns for IT and business decision makers of mid-market organizations. While not healthcare specific, some of the concerns do align with what covered entities have cited as concerns in the past.

For example, despite data security being a top priority, organizations are grappling with how to develop programs with security strategies without diminishing other business initiatives, cited Dell’s first Data Security Survey.

 The report surveyed the C-Suite of companies across industries to find that IT and business decision makers lack the necessary comfort level with data security needs to expand or integrate more programs and technologies, such as cloud and mobility solutions.

 “These findings suggest that the C-level has to be more engaged when it comes to integrating data security strategies into their business,” Steve Lalla, vice president of Commercial Client Software & Solutions for Dell said in a statement. “Business leaders understand the need to invest in their security infrastructure, but that isn’t translating into updating or expanding their current systems to adequately prevent modern attacks.”

The survey shows that three out of four decision makers believe data security is a top priority, but one in four still do not feel knowledgeable about data security issues.

Sixty-five percent of mid-market companies are hindering their plans to add more mobility service because of security reasons.  Researchers also found that an estimated four out of five respondents are concerned with uploading information to a cloud service, and 58 percent are more concerned with data security than they were in 2014.

The report found that 58 percent of decision makers believe that a lack of trained security professionals adversely affects their organizations and 49 percent believe they need to do more to secure their data in the next 5 years.

“While we’ve come a long way from the days when cybersecurity was an add-on to the IT infrastructure in organizations, more work needs to be done,” Michael Kaiser, Executive Director of National Cyber Security Alliance said in a statement. “The Dell Data Security Survey highlights that as the security landscape evolves, and threats become more sophisticated, organizations need to foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness from the top down and integrate it throughout their organization.”

Image credits: Dell

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