Healthcare IT Leaders Need to Address Mobile Security and Management

March 12, 2010

Blue Bell, Pa.—March 11, 2010—“Managing and Securing Mobile Healthcare Data and Devices,” a commissioned technology adoption profile conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fiberlink Communications Corporation was released today with findings on the top needs of healthcare IT leaders. With 95% of healthcare enterprises relying on smartphones for work, this industry is one of the most mobile across all verticals.

“Forrester’s study reflects what we’ve been hearing from healthcare IT leaders; mobility is critical for healthcare professionals, but IT must remain cognizant of where critical data is being stored and what’s at risk”

Leveraging its Business Data Services (BDS) network of healthcare and life sciences IT decision makers, Forrester found that regulatory compliance tops the list of concerns with 86 percent of the respondents ranking it as a high or critical priority. 90 percent of the IT leaders queried stated that data security is of high or critical importance, further underscoring the current concerns. With the industry sorely in need of a solution for these challenges, more than half of the IT leaders stated the need for a tool that can poll for device encryption, while greater than a third of the respondents noted the need for a solution that can also enable wireless connectivity and produce policy violation alerts.

The Forrester study states: “There’s good reason for these IT pros to be concerned: 31% noted that their data has been compromised at least once over the course of 2009.” It continues, “What then is exposing these enterprises to data leaks, compliance complications, and an overwhelming concern around data security? As close to 100% of healthcare organizations take on devices such as smartphones, adding to the desktops and laptops already in place, there isn’t uniform control across the varying types of devices users rely on.”

“Forrester’s study reflects what we’ve been hearing from healthcare IT leaders; mobility is critical for healthcare professionals, but IT must remain cognizant of where critical data is being stored and what’s at risk,” said Jim Szafranski, senior vice president, customer platform services of Fiberlink. “The solution to these challenges must provide 24×7 mobile flexibility for healthcare workers while providing IT with visibility and management tools that maintain tight regulatory compliance and data security at a cost that makes sense.”

Summarizing the many findings in the study, Forrester notes: “What healthcare IT users are asking for is a single tool that meets their demands of providing mobility through wireless connectivity for users while giving IT better visibility into the users’ computing environment with proactive policy violation alerts and an ability to enforce security measures such as on-device encryption. Tools with this set of functionality would be an answer to the wish list of the healthcare IT respondent base.”

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