In the digital era, the safety of data has been a huge concern for many industries. The healthcare industry has always been a prime target for cyberattackers, and it’s one of the industries that suffers the highest number of breaches.
There’s no surprise as to why this is the case. Medical records are seen as a treasure trove because they usually contain a wealth of personal information – enough information gathered for someone to seriously blackmail a victim, or perhaps even commit identity fraud.
Medical information is sensitive – so will new tech save us from future scandals?
Could a fingerprint system help to secure our data?
Biometric technology like fingerprint recognition systems are growing in popularity. In terms of using it in hospitals, a fingerprint system could make it easier for hospitals to correctly identify patients and guard against identity theft, and could prevent erroneous access to records too. Some healthcare providers have reportedly considered the system to be an effective method to prevent data theft, so it could be the future as efforts to properly protect health data are beefed up.
In terms of improper access to records, we have seen far too many instances where people have accessed records within the NHS without proper authority or reason. It could be hard to encrypt millions of different sets of records to only ensure authorised personnel have access to them, but a fingerprint access system could solve this with the required degree of automation.
Think about it – a member of staff is curious about their neighbour’s medical records, and has full access to them because of the nature of their job. What if they could only access the records if their fingerprint was authorised for access? If they needed to legitimately gain access, perhaps the technology can recognise this by way of easily accessible authorisations.
One way a system could trigger authorisation is if the patient is admitted to a specific hospital, as one example.
The healthcare system’s ongoing responsibilities
We mustn’t forget the crucial role of the healthcare industry to take cybersecurity seriously. Many argue that the healthcare industry is subject to more attacks because their security systems are less mature than other industries. This can be the case, as we saw from the WannaCry attack earlier this year that specifically targeted outdated systems that are weaker, and ‘lo and behold’, the NHS was severely hit.
It’s not hard to recognise that technology can be used to combat the rise in data hacks, so fingerprint tech may be a suitable way forward for protecting patient data.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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