|By Gilad Parann-Nissany||
|September 5, 2013 11:00 AM EDT||
The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule went into effect on March 26, 2013. In order to stay compliant, the date for fulfilling the new rules is September 23, 2013, except for companies operating under existing “business associate agreements (BAA),” may be allowed an extension until September 23, 2014.
As healthcare and patient data move to the cloud, HIPAA compliance issues follow. With many vendors, consultants, internal and external IT departments at work, the question of who is responsible for compliance comes up quite often. Not all organizations are equipped or experienced to meet the HIPAA compliance rules by themselves. Due to the nature of the data and the privacy rules of patients, it is important to secure the data correctly the first time.
HIPAA and the Cloud
Do you have to build your own cloud HIPAA compliance solutions from scratch? The short answer is no. There are solutions and consulting companies available to help move patient data to the cloud as well as secure it following HIPAA compliance rules and best practices.
The following checklist provides a guide to help plan for meeting the new HIPAA compliance rules.
A Cloud HIPAA Compliance Checklist
1. Ensure “Business Associates” are HIPAA compliant
- Data Centers and cloud providers that serve the healthcare industry are in the category of “business associates.”
- Business Associates can also be any entity that “…creates, receives, maintains, or transmits protected health information (PHI) on behalf of a covered entity.” This means document storage companies and cloud providers now officially have to follow HIPAA rules as well.
- Subcontractors are also considered business associates if they are creating, receiving, transmitting, or maintaining Protected Health Information (PHI) on behalf of a business associate agreement.
- As a business associate they must meet the compliance rules for all privacy and security requirements.
What can you do?
Ensure business associates and subcontractors sign a business associate agreement and follow the HIPAA compliance rules for themselves and any of their subcontractors. A sample Business Associate Agreement is available on the HHS.gov website.
What happens if you are in violation?
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) investigates HIPAA violations and can charge $100 – 50,000 per violation. That gets capped at $1.5 million for multiple violations. The charges are harsh to help ensure that data is safe and companies are following the HIPAA rules.
2. Data Backup
- Health care providers, business associates, and subcontractors must have a backup contingency plan.
- Requirements state that it has to include a:
Backup plan for data, disaster recovery plan, and an emergency mode operations plan
- The backup vendor needs to encrypt backup images during transit to their off-site data centers so that data cannot be read without an encryption key
- The end user/partner is required to encrypt the source data to meet HIPAA compliance
What can you do?
If you handle the data backup internally, set a plan to meet HIPAA compliance and execute it.
If you have external backup solution providers, ensure they have a working plan in place.
3. Security Rules
- Physical safeguards need to be implemented to secure the facility, like access controls for the facility
- Develop procedures to address and respond to security breaches
- There are an additional 18 technical security standards and 36 implementation specifications as well
What can you do?
Put a plan in place to protect data from internal and external threats as well as limiting access to only those that require it.
4. Technical Safeguards
Health care providers, business associates, and subcontractors must implement technical safeguards. While many technical safeguards are not required – they do mitigate your risk in case of a breach. In particular, encryption of sensitive data allows you to claim “safe harbor” in the case of a breach.
- Study encryption and decryption of electronically protected health information
- Use AES encryption for data “at rest” in the cloud
- Use strong – and highly protected – encryption key management; this is the most sensitive and difficult piece on this list – consider to use split-key cloud encryption or homomorphic key management
- Transmission of data must be secured: use SSL/TLS or IPSec
- When any data is deleted in the cloud any mirrored version of the data must be deleted as well
- Limit access to electronically protected health information
- Audit controls and procedures that record and analyze activity in information systems which contain electronically protected health information
- Implement technical security measures such as strong authentication and authorization, guarding against unauthorized access to electronically protected information transmitted over electronic communication networks
What can you do?
Adopt strong encryption technology and develop a plan to ensure data is transmitted, stored, and deleted securely. Develop a plan to monitor data access and control access.
5. Administrative Safeguards
For organizations to meet HIPAA compliance they must have HIPAA Administrative Safeguards in place to “prevent, detect, contain and correct security violations.” Policies and procedures are required to deal with: risk analysis, risk management, workforce sanctions for non-compliance, and a review of records.
- Assign a privacy officer for developing and implementing HIPAA policies and procedures
- Ensure that business associates also have a privacy officer since they are also liable for complying with the Security Rule
- Implement a set of privacy procedures to meet compliance for four areas:
“Conduct an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information held by the covered entity”
“Implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level to comply with §164.306(a).”
Workforce Sanctions for Non-Compliance
“Apply appropriate sanctions against workforce members who fail to comply with the security policies and procedures of the covered entity.”
Review of Records
“Implement procedures to regularly review records of information system activity, such as audit logs, access reports, and security incident tracking reports.”
- Provide ongoing administrative employee training on Protected Health Information (PHI)
- Implement a procedure and plan for internal HIPAA compliance audits
What can you do?
Develop an internal plan to meet HIPAA compliance and have a privacy officer to implement requirements. Ensure that policies and procedures deal with analysis of risk, management of risk, policy violations, and sanctions for staff or contractors in violation of the policy. Develop and maintain documentation for internal policies to meet HIPAA compliance as it will help define those policies to your organization and could assist during a HIPAA audit.
The post The HIPAA Final Rule and Staying Compliant in the Cloud appeared first on Porticor Cloud Security.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborat...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,840
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of ...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:30 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make sm...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,902
Participants will reach the final if their IoT solution is liked. A community vote will determine the best solutions submitted in each country, after which an expert jury will select the national winners and the best international IoT solution. Each country's best solution can win a national marketing campaign worth up to €30,000 and become a partner in Deutsche Telekom's participating markets. The winning international solution can become partner of Deutsche Telekom Group across all eight coun...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,252
Recent technology advances in miniaturization has positioned the wearables as the pinnacle of technology convergence with the human body. We inquire if wearables are mere standard miniaturized devices extended with the connectivity and present our views on considerations like design, applications, performance, efficiency, interoperability, usage scenarios, human device interaction and consequent trade-offs enabling wearables to impart optimal value.
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,174
In this session we look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. We will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch dev...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,232
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,219
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,817
WebRTC Summit has announced today that Peter Dunkley has been named summit chair of WebRTC Summit 2015 New York. The 4th International WebRTC Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in Manhattan, New York. @ThingsExpo anticipates 90% of WebRTC companies & developers will monetize their products & services through IoT by 2016. Peter Dunkley is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,194
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the new data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Herzeliya, Israel, Stratoscale is redefining the data center, developing a hardware-agnostic, software platform hyper-converging compute, storage and networking across the rack or data center. The self-optimizing platform automatically distributes all physical...
Apr. 27, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,753
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
Apr. 27, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,468
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ...
Apr. 27, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,790
SYS-CON Events announced today that Emcien will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Emcien’s vision is to let anyone use data to know the future. Emcien has built an automated, predictive analysis product that improves the lives of real people. Emcien allows people to automate their data analysis so they can build a better future.
Apr. 27, 2015 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,729
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures...
Apr. 27, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,552
SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
Apr. 27, 2015 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,902