UpGuard’s cyber risk team reveals how details of 40,000 patients have been exposed
Hackers are increasingly turning towards the healthcare industry. Patient identifiable data is increasingly valuable and is becoming an important topic for providers on a global scale.
The number of healthcare breaches is on the rise as a result of outdated, fragmented systems. The US saw the largest number of healthcare breaches in 2017, where up to 328 leaks (up to 60% of all leaks in 2017) costed the industry close to $1.2bn.
Such shocking figures do not include the many companies that have not disclosed the number of files affected or did not have access to that information, according to research Citrix ShareFile
The cyber risk team at UpGuard have recently revealed that a digital data repository containing records from a Long Island medical practice was left publicly accessible, revealing medical details and personal identifiable information of over 42,000 patients for up to two months.
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Originating from Cohen Bergman Klepper Romano Mds PC, a New York practice specialising in internal medicine and cardiovascular health, the details included patient names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers, insurance information, as well millions of extensive medical notes.
The breach related to a misconfiguration within present IT systems. Misconfigurations are an internal problem that are situated within the IT infrastructure of any enterprise – the problem is not solely related to hackers. “The problem is pervasive – Gartner has estimated anywhere from 70% to 99% of data breaches result not from external, concerted attacks, but from internal misconfiguration of the affected IT systems,” UpGuard explained.
Although the breach has been officially secured, it reinforces the urgency for healthcare providers to invest in resilient, advanced security protocols to secure patient data and to comply with all permitted health regulations.
Nonetheless, a 2018 Thales Data Threat Report, Healthcare Edition, has stated that only 30% of global healthcare organisations remain untouched by data breaches, highlighting that healthcare companies have a significant way to go in overhauling current healthcare systems to ensure all data is secured.
OMNI: First-ever platform to launch citizen RPA developers
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the fastest growing segment of the enterprise software market due to its many benefits - from reducing manual errors to processing tasks faster. For businesses to truly benefit from this technology, RPA needs democratisation, and this is where citizen RPA development comes in.
Gartner describes a citizen RPA developer as "a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” This could be anyone using IT tools and technology, not limited to IT specialists.
The work citizen RPA developers do spans from identifying automation opportunities to developing RPA architecture and solution proposals, focusing on scalability and extensibility. By deploying citizen RPA developers, organisations can enable enterprise automation and digital transformation on a much larger scale.
This is particularly beneficial for businesses struggling to undertake digital transformation, as a citizen RPA development programme can help drive adoption of automation as a strategic growth driver at multiple levels. With increased adoption, the cost of digital transformation becomes lower, increasing RoI.
Technology needs to be democratised – right from low-code and no-code platforms, business process modelling and identifying automation opportunities to decision-makers at all levels, creating a pool of early adopters. This group could comprise people across different functions, especially those who are aware of customer preferences, industry trends and end user experience.
But how can organisations harness the power of citizen RPA development? Step forward AiRo Digital Labs, a Chicago-headquartered global tech company.
AiRo provides innovative digital and automation solutions for the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. In 2021 they launched OMNI, a subscription-based, SaaS platform to help clients accelerate their citizen RPA developer program and build digital centres of excellence (COE) within their organisation.
OMNI provides a personal RPA coach and virtual digital playground that helps enterprises rapidly build and scale automation, removing the risk of failure or talent gaps. The latter is key as research has shown that digitalisation is far more successful when championed by internal employees.
This has the added bonus of empowering employees - who will self-learn technologies including robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and natural language processing (NLP), reducing the lead time for new applications and technology, as well as reducing technical gaps, making up for skills shortages and enabling their business to respond faster to critical market challenges. The virtual sandbox within OMNI gives access to all the major intelligent automation platforms where citizen RPA developers can build DIY digital prototypes. Additionally, they can access more than 150 digital assets within OMNI marketplace.
The platinum helpdesk of OMNI acts as your personal coach and is available 24 x 7 to address issues during the digital learning, prototype building, and digital governance journey.
Another key benefit is that it enables digitalisation to be bespoke to each organisation, compared to off-the-shelves initiatives plugged into the enterprise. Individual organisation's objectives decide the scope and size of the process.
As Gartner state, in today’s world of SaaS, cloud, low-code and “no-code” tools, everyone can be a developer.