A thumb drive containing unencrypted data referencing over 33,000 patients was reported stolen by St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Santa Rosa on June 9th, reports The North Bay Business Journal. This is the second data breach experienced by St. Joseph’s in the last two years. Article

Information on the portable drive contained patient information including first and last names, dates of birth, medical record number, date, time and types of services received along with results.

Modern Healthcare’s Vital Signs reports that one in ten people in the U.S. has been affected by large health data breaches, and that more than 1,000 heath record breaches involving 500 or more patients have been reported during the five years federal reporting requirements have been in effect.

HHS has reportedly received more than $10 million in HIPAA fines since June 2013, and expects penalties to increase drastically in the next year. Spokesperson Rachel Seeger said that of more than 32,600 complaint cases, 22,500 resulted in corrective action by HHS.

Memory sticks used in a professional environment can be dangerous, and Cloud storage can be a safer way to share information. Encryption of valuable data is no longer and option, but a necessity. HIPAA rules require that organizations safeguard PHI with strong policies for data transfer.

A complete network security plan requires employee education about data protection across all devices, along with strong cloud protection. EdgeWave will help you create a safer environment with an award-winning combination of automated security, human review, and employee education. Call 1 800 782 37621 or visit today.