Being HIPAA Compliant Against All Odds by eGestalt

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Technology-led health industry has definitely led to faster access and processing of patient records and data. However, the industry is continuously plagued by large number of security breaches in the recent past. The major cause has been identified as the loss or theft due to unencrypted data.

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									                                  Being HIPAA Compliant Against All Odds

Technology-led health industry has definitely led to faster access and processing of patient records and data.
However, the industry is continuously plagued by large number of security breaches in the recent past. The major
cause has been identified as the loss or theft due to unencrypted data. Though government regulations demand
that health industry maintain the critical information about the their customers in encrypted formats, tracking of
the major health information breaches indicates that most of the breach incidents involved the unencrypted
information in the storage media.

Despite strict regulations, the encryption costs and lack of awareness of security risks to the system, customers
and the enterprise as a whole, there are a number of enterprises who still continue to store patient health
information in unencrypted formats. However, with the authorities combing down operations on HIPAA
compliance with huge penalties and strict actions, most of the enterprises under the healthcare industry now need
to ensure that they are not just HIPAA compliant but also meet the IT security and compliance regulations.

For the enterprises, health care providers, covered entities and business associates, the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a challenge in today's ever- changing technology landscape and the
changing government requirements. Further, with healthcare organizations interacting with partners and patients
through digital channels, they become prime sources for identity theft. Such actions on the part of the cyber
criminals will lead to a breach-notification of the enterprise and also lead to damage of the brand image.

An effective way for addressing these problems is deploying a unified and comprehensive solution that will enable
enterprises to monitor all users, applications and system activities across the network. Deploying compliance
management solutions will enable the healthcare enterprise in identifying the vulnerabilities in their environment,
detecting attacks on systems and data besides locating any infrastructure defects that can lead to violation of
regulatory mandates. Further, even though the HITECH act expects enterprises to necessitate automated
encryption of data, the crux of the issue lies in small and medium healthcare entities remaining reluctant in
investing in the encryption technology based on the cost factor.

Leading service providers have however, worked out solutions that would ensure that the encryption
requirements are taken care of and meet the HIPAA compliance requirements. The comprehensive IT Security and
compliance management solutions besides providing enterprises, covered entities and business associates an easy
encryption of digital data storage resources, also provides for an all-round security of the organization’s digital
data. Through time-based risk assessments and restrictive access to sensitive data, this solution ensures that
health care industry, covered entities, and business associates have an end-to-end security and are HIPAA
compliant.

Read more on - vendor management, vulnerability management

								
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