Informative Guide for HIPAA Security and Privacy Rule

admin Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • July 24th, 2018

HIPAA Security and Privacy Rule

HIPAA Security Rule

HIPAA, which is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is United States legislation and makes security provisions for the safeguarding of medical records information. HIPAA was passed as a security cover for the PHI or Protected Health Information and was to put all the physical, administrative and technical things in place with the provision for data privacy, information integrity, and accessibility. HIPAA is enforced by the ‘Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights’ department. HIPAA security is of utmost importance for healthcare centers and its closed associates, who deal with the sensitive patient healthcare records.

HIPAA Security and Privacy Rule

HIPAA provides for some security features to protect the medical records and the health information of patients that are as follows:

  1. Technical: This deals with the technologies involved in the policies and procedures and the ways to use them. It is mainly to protect the ePHI and the data access controls in the following areas:
    • Data Access: This controls features like overwriting, reading, modifying and information communicating in the form of application, system or file. It helps in instantly taking decisions for emergencies and data encryption. The controls should have the automatic log out function and a unique identifier of a user.
    • Audit Controls: This is to regulate the activities associated with ePHI like recording and examining of the data.
    • Data Integrity: When data is to be modified or destroyed in a secretive manner, then procedures and policies involving data integrity are involved.
    • User Authentication: Through this, the individual verification is included which ensures that data is accessed only by the authentic user, thereby, reducing data breach chances.
  2. Physical: The policies, procedures and physical approaches needed to protect the electronic data machine and its associated components are included in the physical security rule. It involves the following:
    • Workstation Security: The workstation where the ePHI is accessed needs physical security implementation. A blueprint is prepared to know how the workstation can be used and what all security standards need to be followed as per the workstation rule. By this, the physical unauthorized access of the data in the secured room can be restricted.
    • Workstation Use:: This is concerned with the appropriate use of business workstation. This includes the electronic media and the computing elements saved under an immediate environment like the access of billing information workstation that can be accessed with no other running mode apps in the background browser.
  3. Administrative: The development, maintenance, selection and implementation of all the security features for ePHI protection by enforcing policies, actions and activities are included in the administrative HIPAA security rule. The HIPAA security rule mostly comprises of the administrative safeguards like managing the employee’s conduct associated with ePHI protection. Some of its features are given below:
    • Certain policies and procedures are defined in the HIPAA security management process which aids in detection, prevention, and correction of violations. A crucial risk analysis is first conducted and then the plan is implemented accordingly.
    • Another important aspect is the workforce security that includes all the policies and procedures governing the employee access of the ePHI data. The main features of this are the user authorization, clearance, supervision, and termination.
    • There are many features in HIPAA security rule for dealing with security incidents. The incidents are identified and the reports are sent to the authentic person. Security incidents may mean the reporting of unauthorized access to the accounts, leakage of data and destruction of information without prior knowledge of the administrator.

Data-Based Verdict for HIPAA Security

The average cost for HIPAA implementation in an enterprise is approximately $6 million if the fine applied by OCR is excluded. Non-compliance in itself causes huge losses to the enterprise in the form of finance, lawsuits from the affected parties and breach notification costs. The other major challenges include the loss of reputation in the market with gradual decrease in the customer trust. If data is to be secured and HIPAA compliance is to be achieved, then it is better that enterprises go in for some good CASB solutions provided by some eminent Cloud Access Security Broker that is known for its quality and that provides an additional security layer, so that any unauthorized access is prevented; thus reducing the data breach risks.