Ponemon’s Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security reported that most healthcare organizations have experienced a breach–94% of healthcare organizations in the study have had a data breach in the past two years, and 45% have experienced more than 5 data breaches. In many cases, digital forensics is used to identify the reasons for a breach. Lesser known is the importance of forensics in determining the extent to which PII / PHI is exposed and the number of affected individuals.

Quantifying exposed PII / PHI takes place once a breach is established. This step is often limited in scope due to misinformation.

  1. Data intimidation. Just the size of 10 terabytes of data may appear daunting. However, the total size of a data set does not necessarily correlate with the number of records that is relevant to analysis of exposed PII / PHI.
  2. Time constraints. Time allotted to the assessment of exposed PII / PHI is often a small fraction of a forensics investigation. Minimizing time for analysis without evidence may increase risks such as scrutiny from regulators.

The full article can be read at ID Experts’ Blog.