How HIPAA Compliance Impacts Data Security

Failure to properly secure sensitive information obtained during the course of business opens organizations up to lawsuits and massive fines. Companies affiliated with the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are usually required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), adding even more pressure. Cybercriminals work hard to hack into the healthcare industry, unfortunately, because cyber-attacks have great potential to be lucrative when successful. 

HIPAA Security Rules

Any company that comes under the authority of HIPAA must put technical, physical, and administrative safeguards in place to ensure compliance with applicable standards. It is further stipulated that virtual and hybrid environments must be covered in real-time and time frames that are backward-facing. Such measures are not overkill as research shows that almost half of all identity thefts have been medical-related.

HIPAA and the Cloud

The ability for healthcare industry companies to pass required audits has become even more of an enormous undertaking as the industry has shifted IT infrastructure increasingly to the cloud. Vulnerability to cyber-attacks has increased because of the use of personal devices for work. Physicians, for example, frequently use their mobile devices to access the type of sensitive patient information cybercriminals are trying to obtain. 

Recognizing the shift to the cloud, hackers devised an entire arsenal of sophisticated malware for the express purpose of compromising healthcare networks and exfiltrating the very healthcare information that companies are required to carefully protect.

Data Security Solutions Needed

HIPAA compliance breaches are discovered by the tens of thousands each year, thanks to investigations of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The average cost of penalties per violation is approximately $1.5 million. Data security is crucial, and managed networks are often the best resources for cloud security.

 

Contact UTSI to speak with an IT expert to learn more about HIPAA compliance and data security for your business.