Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Monitoring information security risks within health care

van Deursen, Nicole; Buchanan, William J.; Duff, Alistair


Nicole van Deursen

Alistair Duff


This paper presents an overview of possible risks to the security of health care data. These
risks were detected with a novel approach to information security. It is based on the
philosophy that information security risk monitoring should include human and societal
factors, and that collaboration between organisations and experts is essential to gain
knowledge about potential risks. The methodology uses a mixed methods approach
including a quantitative analysis of historical security incident data and expert elicitation
through a Delphi study. The result is an overview of the possible socio-technical risks that
a panel of experts expect to materialise in health care organisations in the near future.
These risks include (amongst others): staff leaving data assets unattended on the premises
and these assets consequently go missing, staff sharing passwords to access patient data
and staff sending email containing personal patient data to the wrong addressee thus
disclosing data to unauthorised persons. The expert panel recognized risks from current
discussion topics such as outsourcing, but these risks are still considered to appear less
frequently than the more traditional information security risks. Furthermore, the panel did
not estimate a high frequency of occurrence of socio-technical information security risks
caused by new technologies such as cloud computing or RFID.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 14, 2013
Online Publication Date Apr 29, 2013
Publication Date 2013-09
Deposit Date Dec 4, 2013
Journal Computers and Security
Print ISSN 0167-4048
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Pages 31-45
Keywords Delphi method; Health care; Information security; Patient privacy; Risk management; Sociotechnical information security;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jul 10, 2018