The recent hackings of health insurers Anthem and Premera Blue Cross exposed the sensitive data of tens of millions of people. These incidents exemplify just how insecure protected health information (PHI) is, even two decades after the implementation date of the HIPAA Security Rule, intended to protect sensitive patient information from exposure.

The hacks are more maddening because one of the best defenses against them is widely known-encryption. Both payers acknowledged that the data accessed wasn't protected by encryption.

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