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Friday, November 01, 2013

Healthcare.gov shortcomings generating significant data security concerns

Healthcare.gov's shortcomings have begun to raise security concerns among many observers.

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It has now become painfully clear that healthcare.gov, the primary website responsible for hosting the insurance exchanges which are critical for the Affordable Care Act, has significant problems. While millions of people have visited these websites to discover their new insurance options, only a small percentage have been able to fully navigate and successfully sign up for plans.

At first, these problems were attributed to sheer overwhelming demand. Now, however, it appears that there are more substantial, deeply rooted issues that must be dealt with before the website functions as intended.

In addition to the political considerations, these shortcomings have also begun to raise security concerns among many observers. According to numerous industry experts, users' personal information may be at risk, thanks to insufficient data protection solutions.

Security concerns
Supporting these worries, a recently surfaced government memo dating from late September revealed that because the website was not operational in time, a final round of security tests were never performed, The Wall Street Journal reported.

While officials from the Obama administration maintain that the website is completely secure, many critics remain unconvinced. These critics include both Republican politicians and experts in the technology sector, the news source noted.

Potential consequences
Thus far, no data breaches have yet to occur, but the website is still relatively new. Time will tell whether the security is actually sufficient to safeguard users' information or if cyberattackers may be able to gain access to this sensitive data.

For President Obama and other proponents of the healthcare law, such concerns may have serious consequences, as consumers who are afraid that their information will be exposed may avoid the website altogether, even if they would otherwise benefit from its offerings.

This situation highlights a common, although frequently overlooked, aspect of data security: the importance of trust. Whether operating in the private or public sector, any organization that cannot guarantee that users' information will remain safe will likely struggle to regain clients as well as attract new ones. This can greatly undermine firms' efforts to achieve their unique goals.

That is why it is so important for organizations of all kinds to invest in high-end data protection solutions, such as secure file transfer tools. Only with such reliable resources in place can organizations guarantee client data will remain safe and secure at all times.