A new survey from Vormetric says 89 percent of Americans are unaware of the serious threat from the theft of their medical data in the event of a data breach.
The company said Thursday many of the respondents were more concerned about other information and did not put medical data among their top three concerns.
Wakefield Research conducted the online survey of 1,018 U.S. adults from Oct. 1 to 7.
Eighty-four percent cited Social Security numbers as a top security concern, 73 percent answered credit card data and 71 percent identified financial account information.
“Few seem to realize that having their medical data lost is much more dangerous to their financial health than a stolen credit card number and address,” said Tina Stewart, vice president of marketing at Vormetric.
The survey also indicated that 91 percent of respondents did not fully understand encryption technology as a protection for medical data and other sensitive information.
“[Encryption] makes data totally inaccessible to those without the key required to decode it,” Stewart explained.
She noted that strong access controls also help encryption technologies protect data.