Data ownership confusion looms large in NHS

Uncertainty over ownership of data in the healthcare industry is the cause of the poor reputation it has with regards to cyber security, as well as the prevention of data breaches, according to  one industry expert.

Dr Siraj Ahmed Shaikh, who made the claim, leads Coventry University’s forensics and digital security research group. He was replying to a suggestion made in a report that the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors are not where they should be in terms of cyber security.

Dr Shaikh was speaking to Computer Weekly when he told the publication that although the report fails to give a full overview, cyber risk prevention within healthcare and, in particular, the NHS, is clearly far from perfect.

He said:

“Healthcare I find suffers from a poor reputation when it comes to IT deployments and project success, at least in the UK.”

Dr Shaikh cited a lack of data ownership as the main underlying reason for this. Further, he said that this doesn’t motivate the larger sector to discover the most efficient security balance.

Whatever the reason, the UK’s healthcare sector may just sit up and take notice of the report and begin to implement the necessary measures. Investing more in IT security recruitment would be a great start, as there is a clear need to do as much as possible in order to prevent data breaches. Addressing the ownership of data is another issue – one which may well take more time to fix.

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