According to new research, healthcare providers are now embracing new technologies with the promotion of mHealth apps platforms in hospitals. At the same time these health companies are failing to bake in security into mHealth apps and protect sensitive data.
Device management company Jamf found that just 22 percent of the IT budget is invested in mobile app security testing and secure mHealth apps deployment by companies. About 27 percent of healthcare providers studied by Jamf are uncertain about the effectiveness of their mobile device management platforms, with under 50 percent stating there is no way to control all the apps installed on their network. Prior research suggests that healthcare companies are spending more budget on the development of apps without doing proper mobile app security testing, even though they are well aware of the risks which in the US include fines for failing HIPAA compliance related checks.
Former CMO of Arxan Technologies, Patrick Kehoe states that in a race to bring new apps into the market, organisations will ignore mobile app security testing and HIPAA compliance across their network, risking customer trust. 90 percent of health company executives believe that their apps are fully secured, while research has shown that 86 percent of mHealth apps are at risk of hacking and data breaches.
As the use of mobile devices in the health sector grows, so is the challenge to overcome associated security problems. A 2015 study published in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association suggests that security and privacy policies of two thirds of health apps focused on the developer’s homepage with no points related to the mHealth app itself. Another study by Future of Privacy Forum in August 2016 revealed weaknesses in the security protocols of health and wellness apps. Around 56 percent claimed control the content being downloaded on the mHealth devices, 29 percent believed they had minimal control, with another 11 percent stating that they had no control at all over the downloads. Now that healthcare sector is using technological solutions for better management of healthcare services, it is important for mHealth app owners to conduct mobile app security testing and improve the standing of their apps by complying with security standards.