Breach according to HIPAA standards — At what point is the user’s computer system at fault?

Today, HIPAA continues to protect private health information (PHI), while improving how healthcare administrative and financial data is processed through electronic transmissions. Medical practitioners have improved services and treatment with immediate access to a patient’s health information. Patients have recognized the value of being able to view and contribute information in a private and secured environment. As more facilities join the network and share data, the risk of exposure to these operating systems has increased, creating an opportunity for a potential system breach.

Ransomware is one of those potential threats causing the loss and authorized access or acquisition of PHI. Suitably named, this virus restricts access to the user unless he or she pays a ransom. The primary question is whether the user’s system is updated to distinguish authenticity to prevent this intrusion into HIPPA’s system. This is the reason HIPAA’s compliance requires high-tech security methods in place at all times for the vast network of users.

Non-tech users are familiar with the authentication functions when entering systems, and most healthcare facilities issue ID cards for entry as a means of preventing outside intruders from accessing private data through the user’s system. As technology develops, so does the threat, and the next level of security technology requires protection at all system levels, connecting user operations to the ever-growing network containing PHI data.

Operational Security Protocols

Ransomware threats entering the user’s operating system will carry heavy HIPAA penalties, because a user’s system may be a portal to accessing HIPPA’s data, adding more salt to the wounds caused by inadequate protection. Hiring the right IT team for computer security relevant to your practice, HIPPA’s compliance with the knowledge of the industry’s latest threat is critical to determining the actual point of fault.

Doctor using computer at medical office

Typically, a gap analysis can track the events leading to the breach by capturing the trail of alerts of any suspicious activity entering the system. These records allow organizations to trace where the virus entered and pinpoint whether it was your system or HIPPA’s. Either way, the right protocols monitoring the system enable a higher level of defense against potential attacks, access or misuse of PHI.

Management Interfaces

The management interface prompts the system to decipher the different attacks and potential new ones yet to be discovered. It’s done by monitoring the intrusion against approved protocols, separating the action. This form of defense protects both the company’s operating system and prevents entry into HIPPA’s network. The separation between the two functions monitors the traffic without interference to daily business functions. As intrusions occur, the system confirms or suspends the intrusion from the company’s operating systems and HIPPA’s portal for access to PHI.

High-Speed or Large Volume Environment

Hospital networks, clinics and associated businesses have huge numbers of authorized users accessing medical records. The demand for security is heightened in these large volume environments; smaller offices look for speed, making both of these conditions a target for hackers and viruses such as Ransomware attempting to block access every single day.

Enforcement of HIPPA’s security standards is the safeguard against breaches to prevent disclosure of unsecured PHI. Although all medical environments use standardized policies and procedures to protect health information and manage the conduct of the workforce, there is no single fix for protecting private medical information that fits every environment. To protect your business from risk, hefty HIPPA penalties and legal liabilities as a result of Ransomware, ongoing monitoring, updating and system analysis are critical to sustaining computer security.

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