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How secure is your information system? An investigation into actual healthcare worker password practices.

Author information

1
Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

For most healthcare information systems, passwords are the first line of defense in keeping patient and administrative records private and secure. However, this defense is only as strong as the passwords employees chose to use. A weak or easily guessed password is like an open door to the medical records room, allowing unauthorized access to sensitive information. In this paper, we present the results of a study of actual healthcare workers' password practices. In general, the vast majority of these passwords have significant security problems on several dimensions. Implications for healthcare professionals are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

information security; passwords; privacy; user behaviors

PMID:
18066366
PMCID:
PMC2047302

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