Navigation Links
Study reveals security weaknesses in file-sharing methods used in clinical trials
Date:2/16/2011

Ottawa Patients who participate in clinical trials expect that their personal information will remain confidential, but a recent study led by Dr. Khaled El-Emam, Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information at the CHEO Research Institute, found that the security practices used to transfer and share sensitive files were inadequate.

The two-part study, entitled "How Strong Are Passwords Used to Protect Personal Health Information in Clinical Trials?", published today in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, showed that the majority of passwords used to protect files are poorly constructed and easily cracked using commercial password recovery tools. Study coordinator interviews indicated that electronic information shared in the context of clinical trials may put personal health information at risk.

"The patients in these trials expect that their personal information will be protected," said Dr. El-Emam. "This is critical for maintaining the trust of clinical trial participants, and the public in general."

In the course of the study, passwords for 14 out of 15 sensitive files transmitted by email were successfully decoded. Of these 14, 13 contained sensitive health information and other potentially identifying factors such as name of study site, dates of birth, initials, and gender. File sharing practices were also found to be insecure, with unencrypted patient information being shared via email and posted on shared drives with common passwords.

"Cracking the passwords proved to be trivial," said Dr. El-Emam. "Choices included passwords as simple as car makers (e.g., "nissan"), and common number sequences (e.g., "123"). It was easy for the password recovery tools to guess them."

Poor security practices can be harmful to patients participating in clinical trials, who are at risk of being identified and possibly stigmatized by the disclosure of personal health information. There is also a potential for both medical and non-medical identity theft. In the context of international clinical trials, inadvertent disclosure of personal health information is considered a data breach in countries like the United States, which can lead to penalties in some states.

Dr. El-Emam believes that with some effort file sharing in clinical trials can be made secure: "There are protocols and tools that can be employed for secure file sharing. It may take more effort on the part of those who conduct clinical trials, but the alternative would not be acceptable."

Dr. El-Emam makes several recommendations, including enforcement of strong passwords and encryption algorithms, encrypting all information sent via email including site queries, and minimizing password sharing.


'/>"/>

Contact: Isabelle Mailloux
imailloux@cheo.on.ca
613-737-7600 x3536
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... edition of "Cardiovascular Health" in USA Today, which covers the innovative treatments, therapeutic ... health while maintaining fulfilling lives. “We are prolonging life 6 years in the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Sourced from the Isbre Springs beneath the 5,000 year old ... purity of just 6 ppm TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in addition to its excellent ... in several ShopRite and FoodTown stores in NJ and received rave comments from consumers. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, ... ... in digitally-enabled care journeys, announced today that it has raised $6.0 million in ... are inspired by Clarify Health’s conviction that patients and their caregivers can receive ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... ‘Tis the season for giving! Today, 20 creative teams across ... Partnership and the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the National Red Ribbon Week ... schools who decorated their campuses with this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme: “YOLO. Be ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... 30, 2016 , ... Standard Process, Inc. is proud to ... recognition of the largest closely held companies headquartered in Wisconsin. This marks the ... Standard Process was awarded the Talent Award for providing outstanding employee benefits. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 ... "In Vitro Diagnostics/IVD Market by Product (Instruments, Reagents, ... Application (Diabetes, Oncology, Cardiology, Nephrology, Infectious Diseases) - ... market is valued at USD 60.22 Billion in ... a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 On Thursday, December ... excellence in research, development and innovation in the biopharmaceutical ... was held in the presence of Sergey Tsyb, Vice ... Russian Federation , Natalia Sanina, First Vice Chairman ... , Head of Roszdravnadzor, National Service of Control in ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- bioLytical Laboratories, ein Weltführer bei schnellen Tests für Infektionskrankheiten, ... von Kenia eingeführt. Continue Reading ... ... (PRNewsFoto/bioLytical Laboratories) ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) bioLytical wurde durch die Clinton ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: