Federal Websites and Security Concerns

The House Oversight Committee has approved the Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act, requiring agencies to vouch for the security of any new government website that gathers personal information.

The legislation was introduced by Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich) amid fears that the HealthCare.gov site could expose personal information. The DHSS has said that there have been no successful hacks against the site, and the system complies with government information security standards.

BUT….a recent Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security by the Ponemon Institute reveals new security threats, and particularly cites the Affordable Care Act, as well as criminal attacks, employee negligence, unsecured mobile devices and third parties.

As far as cyber threats that affect patients, the report states that  “the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is seen as a contributing factor because of the documented insecure websites, databases and health information exchanges that are highly vulnerable to insider and outsider threats,”

About 70% of hospitals and clinics said they believe the Affordable Care Act increases the risk of compromising patient data, due to insecure online exchanges, unprotected databases, and the website registration process.

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