Kingston reiterates role of encrypted hardware in mobile healthcare data security

Kingston reiterates role of encrypted hardware in mobile healthcare data security

Kingston Technology Europe, an affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, has emphasised the importance of hardware-based encryption in strengthening mobile healthcare data protection efforts across the globe.

The company made the statement as data breaches remain one of the biggest digital threats within the healthcare industry, thereby raising the need for stronger data security protocols and stringent compliance with relevant policies.

The average total cost of a healthcare data breach worldwide rose by almost US$1 million to US$10.10 million in 2022, according to IBM Security analysis of research data compiled by Ponemon Institute. Healthcare breach costs have been the most expensive industry for 12 consecutive years, increasing by 41.6% since the 2020 report.

Kingston maintained that hardware encryption can help bridge gaps by providing a fortified layer of data protection through an encryption process designed to be unbreakable or hard to intercept. Whether stored or transported, the medical data saved in encrypted hardware devices, such as USBs, can be accessed only through authentication codes set by authorised individuals.

The encryption feature is also separate from any PC, mobile phone or network systems to keep the data out of reach in the event a cybercriminal breaks into the gadgets or online networks. Security is also assured even if the encrypted device ends up being misplaced, lost or stolen.     

“Encrypted drives such as IronKey encrypted USBs are made to keep the data from falling into the wrong hands,” said Antoine Harb, Team Leader Middle East and North Africa at Kingston Technology. “Many are equipped with top-notch features that can also detect and respond to physical tampering and provide automatic data protection upon drive removal for added peace of mind.”

Such capabilities are vital given that human error is considered one of the common causes of data breaches. One recent example took place in Japan where a worker reportedly lost a memory stick that contained the personal data of all residents of a Japanese city after a night out. The data had been encrypted and password-protected, preventing unauthorised access.

Hardware-based encryption not only offers strong and reliable protection but is also a practical and easy-to-use approach to safeguarding private healthcare-related information. It offers out-of-the-box cybersecurity measures minus the need for regular updates like those required in the software-based encryption process.  

IronKey, for example, allows either a complex password or a passphrase up to 255 characters long. After 10 invalid password attempts, the drive locks down with the option to reformat or destroy it.

Cybercrimes are on the rise worldwide, resulting in astronomical financial and reputational costs. In the Middle East, IBM Security reported that the region had the second-highest average total data breach cost reaching US$7.46 million in 2022 from US$6.93 million last year.  Among other factors, the Middle Eastern countries’ financial and economic status has been cited as one of the main reasons behind the online network attacks.

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