Survey: Identity Management Systems at Healthcare Enterprises to Double in 2005

Feb. 24, 2005
Survey conducted at 2005 HIMSS show polls attendees on IT drivers, security requirements and HIPAA compliance plans

VIENNA, Va. - BNX Systems, a provider of enterprise identity and access management solutions, announced today that senior IT and security executives, surveyed at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Show, consider identity management as a top priority in their security strategy for 2005.

The survey, developed to analyze identity management trends in the healthcare sector, was conducted at the HIMSS tradeshow (Feb. 13-17, 2005) in Dallas, Texas. HIMSS is the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on providing leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology and management systems.

Even though only 33 percent of respondents had identity management systems already in place, they ranked it as a top measure in strengthening security for 2005, a 100 percent increase from what they stated was important in 2004. Other security measures planned for 2005 included: altered security policies, anti-virus software and networke-mail filters.

When asked about the primary drivers for their IT security strategy, surprisingly, 35 percent of surveyed attendees found improving operational efficiency the highest priority. Other IT drivers, in order, were: strengthening security (33 percent), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance (19 percent), minimizing errors (7 percent) and reducing IT costs (6 percent).

Despite the April deadline for compliance with the security rule of HIPAA, only 16 percent of those surveyed had a plan completed and implemented, while 36 percent have a plan completed, but not implemented, and 29 percent are still conducting analysis.

"These results illustrate how identity management technology is becoming a key enterprise security strategy within the healthcare market," said Mike Harper, CEO of BNX Systems. "Respondents already are recognizing the benefits from identity management in the form of increased operational efficiency, stronger security and improved regulatory compliance."

Among the survey's key findings:

  • Identity management was considered the highest impact technology for compliance with HIPAA rules, 33 percent; biometrics, 29 percent; while 27 percent stated encryption and digital certificates.
  • The need for more education in identity management became apparent when 49 percent of respondents said they only have a basic understanding of the technology, compared to 26 percent claiming a complete understanding, 18 percent some familiarity, and 7 percent with no understanding.
  • Biometric authentication was considered a highly effective security measure by respondents (55 percent), followed in order by encryption/digital certificates, token authentication and smart or proximity cards.
  • Respondents cited passwords as their current primary information security strategy, followed in order by encryption/digital certificates, token authentication, smart or proximity cards and biometric authentication.
  • Centralized administration was ranked the most important feature in their IT operations followed in order by fast and easy deployment, unified view of patient data (context management), and support for authentication technology.