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:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... The old ... is as simple as eating healthy foods. But this well-known piece of nutrition ... insulin, or breaking apart carbohydrates—depends not only on properties of the food but ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Nurses at Apple Rehab Watch Hill , a ... training and certification in Closed Pulse Irrigation™ (CPI) for wound care. This ... the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to have a CPI machine that will ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... “Covert Awakening”: ... creation of published author, Julianne Hale, a consultant for the Intelligence Community. ... expert focusing on the Near East region. Julianne has written hundreds of ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... Indiana (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... Although ... Fourth of July, many communities have begun providing weekend displays, and numerous households celebrate ... most humans, they can be downright terrifying for pets. , Kris Zambo, owner ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... , ... August 21, 2017 , ... FCPX LUT Monochromatic ... Editors can quickly and easily add washed color grades to footage. A LUT is ... changes every pixel’s color to the corresponding color indicated by the table. This pack ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/17/2017)... , Aug. 17, 2017 MJAC2017 , the ... Canna Broadcast Media, today reveals its leading lineup. ... Inc., a global cannabis innovator specializing in the development of ... the conference. MassRoots, Rambridge™ and The Green Organic Dutchman are ... and Namaste Vapes™ as silver sponsors. ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... -- Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), is now dispensing ... residents. Naloxone is available without a prescription ... G-3320 Beecher Road. ... is intended to block or reverse the effects of ... consciousness. The medication is often carried by first responders ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... PETACH TIKVAH, Israel , Aug. 15, ... leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative ... June 30, 2017. ... our pivotal Phase 3 trial to investigate NurOwn ® ... and Chief Executive Officer of BrainStorm. "We have agreements ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: