Breaches resulting from lost or stolen electronic medical record (EMR) servers or backups are usually less likely than breaches from loss or theft of mobile devices. However, searching on “server” or “backup” in Health and Human Services published data on Breaches 500 or More Individuals shows that these types of breaches have occurred many times in recent years.
When these types of breaches do occur they often have a much higher business impact than breaches resulting from loss or theft of a mobile device. This is because server or backup breaches often involve records for all of the patients in the EMR, rather than a small subset of patient records stored on a mobile device, for example for patients a healthcare worker will visit on a particular day. The Ponemon 2011 Cost of a Data Breach Study shows that the average total cost of a breach in 2011 was $5.5 million USD. Clearly a staggering cost for any healthcare organization.
These types of risks can be effectively mitigated using encryption on EMR databases and backups. However, activating encryption on databases adds significant additional computational overhead that can noticeably degrade performance of the EMR, the healthcare worker user experience and productivity, and ultimately the quality of patient care. Accelerating encryption on databases running on Xeon processors using Intel AES-NI (Advanced Encryption Standard – New Instructions) can offload most of the additional encryption and decryption overhead, enabling strong encryption security to avoid breaches, while also preserving performance and enabling a great healthcare user experience, productivity, and improved quality of patient care.
For more about encryption performance of InterSystems Cache database and the benefits of Intel AES-NI, including the use of new Multi-Buffer capability for interleaved encryption of multiple data blocks, see the whitepaper High Performance Encryption for Electronic Health Record Databases.
To find out more about encryption overhead and the benefits of Intel AES-NI in an Epic Systems Corporation Reporting Solution using an Oracle database see the whitepaper Encrypt Healthcare Data with Performance Using Intel® Xeon® Processors.
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