EHR Vulnerabilities and AI Safeguards
Who would have thought that Dwight Schrute’s blustering outrage would only become more relevant year by year? While it was a funny prank on that episode of The Office, identity theft is now less of a joke than it has ever been. Businesses handle more and more customer data, and the bad guys always seem to be one step ahead of cybersecurity defenses. Identity theft has become such a common danger to consumers that banks and credit card companies even promote protection services for free.
Organizations tasked with safeguarding big data are thus faced with an ever more complicated challenge. Healthcare in particular continues to be an industry prone to cyber intrusion. Electronic health records are now the norm, but with the conveniences they confer also come increased vulnerability, especially in a landscape in which 11 million records were breached in June alone.
Innovative solutions, however, are likewise beginning to rise—strategies that go beyond protecting a system’s perimeter, or focusing on reacting at the expense of being proactive. One such method, dubbed “Ambient Cognitive Cyber Surveillance,” looks to improve the efficiency of data protection by placing it in the figurative hands of our current artificial intelligence capabilities. The prescription here is simple. Rather than relying solely on human employees, let AI do the heaviest lifting. Ideally, this would facilitate problems like sifting through countless normal, non-threatening activities that security tools raise the alarm for; algorithms that enable machine learning to allow defenses to establish a baseline for user behavior and distinguish between what’s normal and anomalous; and, overall, the ability to cast a wide, flexible safety net across an entity’s network.
The goal here is to improve the efficiency of IT security, making it easier for an organization to identify real threats with greater precision. This panopticon of cognitive cyber surveillance sounds like an effective armed guard posted to prevent external or internal thieves from compromising network security. With valuable patient data going for such a premium among hackers these days, organizations will have to start taking every preventative measure they can.