Cool Toys Pic of the day – Breakthrough



This was brought up on #HCSM Sunday night. The context of the
discussion at that point was healthcare professionals using various
social media tools for professional communications. Evidently some are
using Skype to discussion cases or talk to patients, which really
shouldn’t surprise anyone. Someone said, “Hmmm, how secure is it?”
Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Patient
confidentiality is one of those areas where it is one thing if the
patient breaches it, and something completely different if it is
anyone else.

So, Skype, security, eh? Search those two words on Google. I got 57
million hit. Millions. Wow. Something folk are really paying attention
to, and rightly so. Skype even has their own blog just for talking
about their security.

Skype Security: News, Reviews & Opinions

A lot of the links are from a few years ago, but one from last summer
mentioned a pretty major concern.

Skype’s Innermost Security Layers Claimed To Be Reverse-Engineered
Robin Wauters, Jul 8, 2010…

One of the most authoritative piece on Skype Security comes from
Gartner last February, and starts, “Security folks often grimace when
the business says ‘we need to use Skype for business reasons.'”.

Example Skype Security Policies: Low-Medium Security Levels…

Those are some good resources to check if you are going to use Skype,
and the last one even includes example security settings. But is that
good enough for clinical work? There is no kind way to say it. NO! So
I was intrigued when someone mentioned Breakthrough as an example of a
VOIP (Voice Over the Internet Protocol) service explicitly designed as
a secure service for clinical use. Not just any clinical use, either,
but psychotherapy via internet video, phone, or chat.

I haven’t used it, and I’m not qualified, so I can’t attest to the
security, but it is pretty good they are making a concerted effort to
fill this gap. I still worry a bit, though. Someone else asked me how
I can prove that Breakthrough is secure. Well, I can’t. One of the big
complaints with Skype is that they are a proprietary format, so you
can’t really test them, but have to trust them. You could say the same
thing about Breakthrough.

I think we are back to square one: Who Watches the Watchers? Still, I
am glad to see them trying, and I hope to keep an eye on these kinds
of services.


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