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  • acutecareprovidersIn 2013, a covered entity reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights  that one of its workstations was infected with a malware program. This resulted in the impermissible disclosure of 1,670 individuals’ electronic protected health information. The ePHI included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, health insurance information, diagnoses and procedure codes.

    The covered entity, a hospital in the Northeast, determined that the malware was a generic remote access Trojan that infiltrated their system, providing impermissible access to ePHI, because the organization did not have a firewall in place.

    This is a common, basic lapse in compliance of covered entities. So, let’s examine the HIPAA settlement related to this organization. to better understand how you can improve your HIPAA compliance program. (more…)

    From the Experts, Security, Solutions

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    cyber-securityGartner estimates about 6.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices today, such as DVRs, surveillance cameras, and many others, all connected to the Web and all with Internet (IP) addresses. By 2020, it is expected that the number of Web-connected devices will increase to 20.8 billion.

    So, why are these numbers relevant to healthcare cyber-security?

    An IoT fact is that these devices were not designed or developed with security at their core. Further, these devices are typically not configured securely.

    IoT = Internet of Threats!

    The focus of this article is to walk through the security challenges associated with IoT devices, which are proliferating healthcare entities. We will examine four key steps that a health-care entity should take to be better positioned to address this area of emerging cyber-risk.

    Why the IoT-driven Internet Wobble on October 21 Matters in 2017 (more…)

    From the Experts, Security

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    Print

    Security should be a driving force and not an afterthought for senior executives and their boards.

    It is important that senior executives require that their organization formally establish a credible cyber security program. It starts with setting strategic security objectives that must be achieved by December 31, 2016, and December 31, 2017. Think near-term, and think far! The organization must address security and compliance as a life-cycle, as a process. It will lower business risk! (more…)

    Content Management, From the Experts, Security, Strategy, Technology

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    The Bar for HIPAA Compliance

    , Chief Executive, ecfirst

    health2Based on the frequency and amount of HIPAA fines in 2016, one thing is clear, very clear: the lack of a credible HIPAA compliance program for an organization today, will lead to an increase in business risk.

    Multiple alleged HIPAA violations resulted in a $2.75 million settlement with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). HIPAA fines typically are in the seven figures. In addition, it always includes a corrective action map (CAP), which requires a comprehensive HIPAA compliance program, mandated with attestation from an organization’s officer over the duration of the CAP period. The duration of the CAP period is typically a minimum of two years, more likely, three years.

    The recommendation to senior leadership: select a security framework and establish HIPAA compliance within the context of that framework. There are essentially three options for security frameworks: HITRUST, ISO 27001 and NIST. I would recommend HITRUST. Be deliberate, disciplined, and steady to get HITRUST certified.

    Senior executives must treat HIPAA compliance as a life-cycle, as a process. It will lower business risk!

    Let’s examine the settlement related to UMMC to better understand how this impacts where you need to set the bar for HIPAA compliance based on Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforcement of the regulation. (more…)

    From the Experts

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    Is HIPAA in Your Enterprise DNA?

    , Chief Executive, ecfirst

    Ali blogUnderstanding your DNA enables you to take proactive measures in defense of your health and well-being.  Similarly, an organization must carefully examine its enterprise to ensure that it is protected from the multitude of threats posed by cyber criminals, employee/staff incompetence and/or malicious intent.  In this article, we focus on two key challenges for organizations. First, what does HIPAA compliance mean? What must it address? And second, how can an entity address HIPAA compliance and the risk associated with cyber-attacks on a continual basis? We identify options for security frameworks to address this second question.

    HIPAA violations and fines are mounting like never before, as evidenced by the following examples:

    (more…)

    From the Experts

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