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What is the HIPAA Security Rule

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In the 1990s, before HIPAA was signed into law, there was no specific of security requirements for protecting health information across the healthcare industry. As many processes became digital, so did the need to protect health information and technology.

In 1996, the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was put into effect and stands today as one of the most influential legislation pieces within the healthcare industry, serving to protect the privacy and ensure the security of sensitive healthcare information. Just two years later, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed the HIPAA Security Rule and put it into effect five years later. HIPAA requires organizations to secure Protected Health Information (PHI) shared among healthcare practitioners, providers, health plans, and other organizations and comprises the privacy and security rule.

The HIPAA Privacy rule outlines and defines PHI requirements, and the Security Rule outlines requirements to protect EPHI (Electronic Protected health information). Furthermore, the HIPAA Security Rule requires security standards to ensure the protection of electronically protected health care information that is created, received, transmitted, or maintained electronically. Focused on cybersecurity, the Security Rule utilizes a risk management focus and requires an organization to evaluate the likelihood and impact of potential security risks to EPHI and implement security policies to protect it. Additionally, the security rule is scalable to any organization’s size in the healthcare industry and can be explicitly scoped to an organization’s needs and function.

Maintaining good cyber posture is a constant and continuous practice, as regulation is continually changing and threats that could have detrimental impacts on an organization. Using integrated risk management with a solution like CyberStrong can streamline these processes, saving your cybersecurity team, time, effort, and resources to become and stay compliant with regulations like HIPAA. Being rooted in risk management, you will need to do more than just measure potential risks and vulnerabilities using risk analysis. You must also prove so by logging and auditing your compliance progress and using benchmarks to create a standard to measure from and create security incident logs and remediation plans in case of an event.

If you have any questions about the HIPAA security rule or how integrated risk management solutions like CyberStrong can help streamline your compliance efforts with many other gold standard frameworks like the NIST CSF or ISO, give us a call at 1 800 NIST CSF, or click, here, to schedule a conversation.

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