Tuesday, February 12, 2019

10 leading causes of failing to HIPAA compliance

Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) require an esteem approach to secure your Patient Health Record also called ‘Patient Protected Health Information’ (PHI). It limits the risk associated with the information of the patients and also financial risks in case of data theft. Penalties for not complying with HIPAA may exceed financial risk for the organization. According to the Health Insurance Portability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and further amendments.

The high number of i.e. more than 94% of Healthcare organizations admitted to at least one breach of their Patient’ Protected Health Information PHI breached in past years. Health Care organizations are at significant risks of their data security. It causes main concern among data administrators in the Health Care Industry. 

Because of Data Breaches, Health Care organizations faced several and devastating financial consequences in the shape of penalties slapped to them. One of the National Insurer was hit with a $ 1.7 million for fine for not securing the access to the online database.The fine ranges from $ 100 to $ 50,000 per record  

One major reason for non-compliance or poor compliance to Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) is the lack of resources and less technical skills to keep the IT infrastructure updated.

10 leading causes of failing to HIPAA compliance are highlighted below:


1.    Windows Update Patch Management:
 Your System requires a constant upgrade as technology changes and without those update, your operating system and application are getting vulnerable to external threats and not doing proper patch management you are placing the whole network of your organization to risks which can affect your Patients Health information at risk.

2.    Implement Security Information and Event Management SIEM

Security Information and Event Management is an automated process it involves you to be notified in case of data transfer or if it gets breached. You should be the first one to know of that particular event.

3.    Weak passwords. 
The best approach to avoid such events is if you beef up your security with following protocol Uppercase letters, numbers and Symbols. It enables you to adapt a better approach to the security of your network.


4.    Having a proper Audit trail and forensics to identify and respond to Breach. Similar to SIEM organizations must have a proper Forensic and Audit trail to identify data breach in case they are unable to analyze at the first moment.

5.    Some applications are not Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act HIPAA compliant, which can cause a major breach. Cross very with your IT Staff if the application you are installing is HIPAA Compliant some applications are not compliant and it causes an information Breach.

6.    The absence of security validation for new Workstations.
Your security compliance will be boosted once you validate that your systems are configured securely. Make sure your electronic health record system is fully updated and tested on all of the vulnerabilities and penetration testing.

7.    Outdated anti-malware and anti-virus technology. 
For the best outcome use centralize antivirus instead of configuring them on an individual workstation. It enables you to centralize the updates and policy implementation.

8.    Encryption of sensitive information in transit.
Make sure your website or any piece of information which is communicating with the outside of your network, must be AES-256 bit encrypted. When you send an email or share files, make sure they are fully encrypted.

9.    Lack of trained staff. 
Small and medium-sized organizations face a budget issue when they want to employee full time IT Staff. There are ways to minimize your budget by acquiring outside help such as White Wings Consulting HIPAA services. They not only check if you are HIPAA compliant but also troubleshoot the issues which you face.

10. Implementation of the HIPAA monitoring System. Network Infrastructure is similar to cabling in the switch rack. Once you have implemented it you can see every thing is working fine but it gets tangled when you make any change. Same is the case with HIPAA once you achieve the compliance your assumption is its working perfect and you are compliant with Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act HIPAA but the changes might lose you compliance.



Security is a journey, not a destination you need to keep checking if it is compliant after every change which you make on the network. To keep you updated you need to have a Monitoring System which scan and provide you reports on a monthly or quarterly basis.




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