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Blogs

Need for Data Security Grows as Healthcare Threats Rise

Blogs

By Andrew Simmons
Enterprise Sales Consultant

In virtually every industry, IT professionals are fighting to stay ahead amid the rapidly evolving data security threat landscape. Whether you’re a large financial organization or a local manufacturer, data breaches can impact every aspect of your business.

It’s no secret that healthcare organizations are among the largest targets of cyber security attacks – and there have been an unprecedented number of healthcare security breaches in 2018.

Increased Healthcare Data Breaches

According to the HIPAA Journal’s July 2018 Healthcare Data Breach Report, more than 220 data breaches were reported during the first half of 2018. Those attacks resulted in health information of more than six million individuals exposed, stolen or impermissibly disclosed.1

In July 2018 alone, more than two million records were exposed – more than April, May and June combined.1 What caused the significant increase? According to report analysis, hacking incidents, ransomware attacks and other IT incidents such as malware and phishing significantly increased during that month – with phishing attacks at the forefront.

Healthcare Records Exposed by Month

Healthcare Records Exposed 2018

Q32018 HIPAAJournal.com, July 2018 Healthcare Data Breach Report

Compared to previous years, 2017 was also a challenging year for patient privacy, with network server breaches representing the largest segment of attacks.

A study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 2017’s network server data breaches affected almost 140 million records compared to the 35 million affected from breaches involving desktop computers, laptops, electronic health records, email, etc.2 To put this growth in perspective, only 1.1 million records were breached because of network server incidents in 2010.2

The reality is, we rely on cloud and network servers to house our data more than ever. This can make information stored electronically a more attractive and vulnerable hacking target.

Cumulative # of Records Breached


Q32018 ModernHealthcare.com, Healthcare Remains Prime Target for Hackers

Diversification: Is It the Answer?

Network and security departments are making continuous improvements to their network design and data centers to help combat this constant threat. When you need to protect your data with enhanced firewalls, software to detect security threats and more, it’s even more critical that you have fast, reliable and diverse network connectivity to support your security initiatives.

For example, some of my largest customers have moved away from a single, centrally located data center to a multiple-location approach. This allows them to be better prepared to respond to and recover from security threats, natural disasters and equipment failure.

By using data centers not located directly on campus, enterprises can centralize data from multiple campus locations, and gain access to resources that may be harder to provide on a single campus including, but not limited to:

  • Power redundancy
  • Redundant generators
  • Redundant UPS
  • Fiber redundancy
  • Diverse carrier access

In IT healthcare, a single outage can mean the difference between life and death, which means every precaution must be taken to protect data.

What to Look for in a Data Security Partner

Organizations looking for data center services often have similar requirements. Here are some of their biggest needs:

  • 24/7 monitoring of physical data center environment, including temperature, humidity and security systems
  • Diverse entrance paths to data center to ensure available fiber redundancy
  • Access to diverse carriers or other customers within the same data center
  • Geographic location (proximity to existing data center(s) or headquarters)
  • Resistance to seismic activity, flood zones and weather patterns
  • Robust physical security


Although not all of these may be requirements for your organization, if you are prioritizing any of the requirements listed above in your IT strategy, Midco has the ability to support your needs.

We have four operational data centers strategically located along Interstate 29, running from southern South Dakota to northern North Dakota. With direct fiber interconnected between all four locations, we can custom design a solution that meets your disaster recovery and mitigation requirements.

Midco Network Map

Midco Network Map

Data Centers: How Do They Fit into My Enterprise IT Strategy?

Continue reading about these benefits and check out examples of how partnering with a data center provider can help organizations resolve real-world data storage and security issues.

View White Paper

Learn More About Midco’s Data Centers

Midco also combines data center services with our wholly owned, operated and engineered fiber-optic network. If you’d like to set up a time to tour any one of the four locations, reach out to a Midco sales consultant.

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About Andrew Simmons

Andrew Simmons

Andrew Simmons consults with enterprise-level businesses to deliver IT solutions, including data center, fiber Internet, phone and managed services. He has been active in the Sioux Falls community as a volunteer for Junior Achievement, United Way, mentoring and many other organizations. Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology from Colorado Technical University and is currently pursuing his MBA from the Vucurevich School of Business at the University of Sioux Falls.

About Andrew Simmons

Andrew Simmons

Andrew Simmons consults with enterprise-level businesses to deliver IT solutions, including data center, fiber Internet, phone and managed services. He has been active in the Sioux Falls community as a volunteer for Junior Achievement, United Way, mentoring and many other organizations. Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology from Colorado Technical University and is currently pursuing his MBA from the Vucurevich School of Business at the University of Sioux Falls.

1 Q32018 HIPAAJournal.com, July 2018 Healthcare Data Breach Report
2 Q32018 ModernHealthcare.com, Healthcare Remains Prime Target for Hackers