The Security Scrutinizer with Howard Anderson

The Power of the Lock and Key

The Power of the Lock and Key

Just ask Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. This week, authorities made multiple arrests in a case that involved a janitor "cleaning near patient files" who stole personal information and immediately delivered it to others, who ran up big credit card bills. The theft happened after hours when the janitor was working without supervision. (To read story, click here.)

Perhaps you've never considered your night cleaning crew as a potential breach threat. Perhaps you should.

Perhaps you've never considered your night cleaning crew as a potential breach threat. Perhaps you should. 

A local newspaper reported that unlocked file cabinets on three floors apparently proved to be the treasure trove for the janitor.

If so, a lock and key might have been a sufficient deterrent for this particular crime. Sounds simple. But these kinds of details are very easy to overlook.

So if you work at a clinic, or a hospital, or anywhere else where paper records bearing valuable personal information are stored, you might want to add a "to do" item to your daily task list. Before you leave for the day, make sure all records are locked up.

And while you're at it, why not advocate a refresher course for all staff members on how to keep records, both paper and electronic, secure?

For insights on educating staff on basic security steps, be sure to read Christopher Paidhrin's blog.



About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.




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