Mac McMillan, one of the healthcare industry’s leading lights on data security, offered stern warnings and bold perspectives on Monday morning, October 6, as the opening keynote speaker at the “Health Information Executive’s Guide to Cyber Security: A CHIME LEAD Forum Event in Collaboration with iHT2.” The event held on Oct. 6 at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Va., was cosponsored by the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the Institute for Health Technology Transformation, or iHT2. (Since December 2013, iHT2 has been in partnership with Healthcare Informatics, through parent company Vendome Group LLC.)
After an introductions by Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME, McMillan, the president and CEO of CynergisTek, an Austin, Tex.-based consulting firm, and the current chair of the Privacy and Security Committee within the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), gave a passionate, sobering presentation on the extent of the current threats to healthcare data security in the U.S., warning his audience of healthcare CIOs and other senior IT executives that things are going to get worse before they get better in healthcare IT security.
McMillan underscored in various ways the exploding set of threats facing healthcare organizations in the current operating environment, noting that while the healthcare industry was ranked by some as 15th or 16th in terms of data security risk several years ago because of the lack of electronic data storage 10 years ago, it is now seen as one of the most threatened U.S. industries, as up to 99 percent of patient data is now electronic.
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