64% of US residents concerned about privacy of medical records, says Virus Bulletin

Mayo Clinic and Pfizer senior IT security experts to present at the 26th international Virus Bulletin Conference (VB2016) in Denver next week.

[Thursday 29 September, 2016] Ahead of the opening of its 26th Virus Bulletin International Conference (#VB2016), which kicks off Wednesday next week in Denver Colorado, the online security information portal and certification body, Virus Bulletin (VB), unveils the findings of its health care poll.

The results show that almost two out of every three (64%) of US residents are concerned* about their medical records getting into the wrong hands, and half of these respondents said they were "very concerned." Interestingly, the findings showed that almost half of the respondents (46.8%)  between the ages of 25-34 selected "not concerned", compared to only 28.3% of respondents aged 55-64.

Concern about privacy in health care is not unfounded. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, U.S. health care breaches have impacted more than 15 million individuals in 2016 to date.

"Considering the number of high-profile successful cyber attacks on US-based health care providers, I am rather surprised that not all Americans are expressing concern," said VB's Chief of Operations, John Hawes. "Issues include patient and provider access, IoT and medical devices, outdated yet-still-used protocols, threat intelligence and of course user education. It is a concern that younger adults seem less concerned with privacy than those respondents nearing retirement. It's vital we explain the risks and come up with cost-effective solutions, so our industry can better protect patients and health workers."

This year's VB2016 conference showcases the following sessions focused on health care industry:

  • keynote address from the director of governance and IT risk management at Pfizer, Christine Whalley;
  • an in-depth panel discussion led by the senior information security engineer at the Mayo Clinic, John Alexander;
  • research findings are revealed in a talk about IoT in devices from Fortinet security researcher Axelle Apvrille; and
  • presentation on the security of Internet-connected power outlets from BitDefender researchers.

"Virus Bulletin is amazing. Few places have a whole industry together in one place," said John Alexander, senior information security engineer at the Mayo Clinic. "The connections are invaluable and have helped change the world. "

26th Virus Bulletin International Conference (#VB2016) in Denver Colorado on 5-7 October 2016. For 26 years, the international Virus Bulletin conference, VB2016, has been a haven for the world's leading cybersecurity experts, academics and mega corporations, such as Google, IBM, HPE, Intel, and Microsoft, to share problems, research, advice and solutions to today's cybersecurity conundrums.

As an additional incentive, VB is also offering first-time attendees a 30% discount on VB2016 ticket prices.

In three concurrent conference streams over three days, VB2016 will be hosting its biggest conference yet, showcasing more than 60 presentations, demonstrations, and panels, presented by the world's greatest IT security minds.

View the full VB2016 Programme.

The biggest US health care breaches in 2016 (so far)

The biggest recorded U.S. data breaches in 2016 include Banner Health, the non-profit health system, which suffered a cyber attack last month impacting more than 3.7 million patients, health plan members and beneficiaries, physicians and health care providers.

Newkirk Products, a large health care ID cards issuer, also suffered a cyber attack in August that affected the personal identifiable information of more than 3.4 million victims.

And who can forget the cyber attack that hit 21st Century Oncology back in March where 2.2 million confidential records were put at risk?

Free passes for press

A limited numbers of complimentary VB2016 press passes are available. Please contact editor@virusbulletin.com for more information.

More information

The 26th Virus Bulletin International Conference, will take place 5-7 October 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. Visit https://www.virusbulletin.com/conference/vb2016/.

JOHN HAWES, Chief of Operations at Virus Bulletin, is available for comment.
Email: john.hawes@virusbulletin.com
Tel: +44 (0)1235 544182

* Google Consumer Survey: VB polled 500 US residents in September 2016 with the question:  "Are you concerned about the privacy and/or security of your patient information stored by health care providers?"

About Virus Bulletin

Virus Bulletin is an online security information portal and certification body, providing users with independent intelligence about the latest developments in the threat landscape, as well as conducting bimonthly certifications of anti-malware and anti-spam products. All content published by Virus Bulletin is available free of charge. Virus Bulletin is supported by an Advisory Board comprising some of the world's leading anti-threat experts. https://www.virusbulletin.com/

The international Virus Bulletin conference (VB2016), hosted annually by Virus Bulletin, is cited by many as the IT security event of the year. https://www.virusbulletin.com/conference/vb2016/