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Specialized Verizon Business Security Consulting Services Help Identify, Protect Personal Health Data
May 18, 2010 (12:05 PM EDT)


BASKING RIDGE, N.J., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Digitally sharing patient information with the appropriate health care organizations is critical to making the health care system more efficient and cost-effective, but certain safeguards are necessary to protect the confidentiality of the information.  To help IT administrators with this complex task, Verizon Business is introducing the Data Discovery, Identification and Security Classification suite of security consulting services for health care.

Available immediately in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, DDISC discovers, identifies and classifies sensitive personal health information – such as physician notes, x-rays, and insurance and payment information – to determine whether it is being appropriately handled, secured and shared electronically.  

Combining the technical expertise of the company's IT security consultants with data discovery tools, Verizon reviews the data for relevance and sensitivity to evaluate its importance to the health care organization.  It also helps determine where information is transmitted and stored, whether centrally in a data center or on medical equipment, such as computers-on-wheels, radiology devices or telehealth systems.  Verizon consultants also provide recommendations for additional security measures, as necessary.

"By its very nature, personal health information and related data need to be shared across an entire health care ecosystem in order to deliver effective health care today," said Bart Vansevenant, director – enterprise solutions development, Verizon Business.  "With the customization of our DDISC service for the health care market, we are enabling hospitals, health systems, insurers and their business associates to gain a better understanding of their data so it can be protected and shared with the proper controls in place; otherwise, the consequences can be quite severe."

Proper Policies Help Protect Sensitive Data

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a health care organization to unknowingly leave its network open to unauthorized users.  For example, a vulnerability analysis at a major hospital revealed that doctors were logging into their hospital desktop computers from home via an unprotected Internet connection and were able to view patient information over an unencrypted channel.  A properly deployed data-loss protection solution can be used to put policies and enforcement points in place to remove remote access capabilities that would expose patient data over unsecure communications channels.

Verizon DDISC for health care also helps health care organizations address security and meaningful-use standards and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard; and provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

DDISC for Health Care Extends Verizon's Consulting Services Portfolio

Verizon DDISC services join a growing portfolio of security consulting capabilities for health care.  The Verizon Security Management Program-Healthcare enables health care organizations to proactively assess the strength of security measures through an easy-to-use online dashboard.   The company also offers assessment, review, validation and certification services based on the Common Security Framework, a set of industry security standards developed by the Health Information Trust Alliance, as well as a telehealth readiness assessment.

Verizon has broad experience supporting the health care industry, providing services to more than 17,000 customers, including more than 90 percent of Fortune 1000 health care companies.  Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions, the company's dedicated practice group, is helping transform the delivery of patient care, better manage costs, enhance access to services, and provide data privacy.

About Verizon Business

Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with one of the world's most connected IP networks to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions.  We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees – enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment.  Many of the world's largest businesses and governments – including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions – rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.

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SOURCE Verizon Business