HIPAA is known across the healthcare industry as a mandatory regulation, requiring strict security practices to maintain. Let us show you how BlackStratus’ HIPAA compliant IT software, CYBERShark can simplify compliance for your business.
What Is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is a set of regulations concerning the handling of medical information, including privacy and security. The regulation requires that any companies handling healthcare data, from hospitals to insurance companies, must comply with HIPAA security standards when transmitting and storing electronic protected health information (ePHI).
Why Is Compliance Important?
Compliance with HIPAA standards is required of all healthcare businesses due to the sensitive nature of information handled by these companies. A single cyber attack on a health-related business can result in lost or stolen data that has broad ramifications on the health, safety and financial security of patients, and these attacks are becoming both more frequent and more aggressive. Failing to comply with HIPAA standards can result in severe consequences for healthcare businesses, including:
- Reputational: The moment it’s revealed that a company’s information was hacked, that company’s reputation decreases. This is particularly true for healthcare businesses due to the sensitive nature of the information they carry. Such reputational damage can negatively impact future business and lose the trust of patients and partners alike.
- Legal: Since HIPAA compliance is a federal requirement of all healthcare businesses, failure to comply with HIPAA requirements can result in severe fines. These fines multiply if a breach occurs as a result of HIPAA noncompliance. Patients may even sue the business because of their negligence.
- Financial: Between the reputational and legal damage done to a healthcare organization due to HIPAA noncompliance, financial damages can be steep. Often, these damages are enough to bankrupt entire healthcare enterprises.
These factors mean HIPAA compliance is an absolute must. While these regulations won’t protect against all threats your healthcare business might face, they pose a strong baseline off of which your business can build. The first step, however, is to achieve HIPAA compliance.
How Can Logging Systems Help Achieve HIPAA Compliance?
HIPAA compliance requires a varied set of protective measures, which often requires several IT and practical solutions. To understand all the regulations your company must meet, outline each part of the HIPAA regulation and create a plan for addressing each point. One of the larger points of HIPAA regulation includes network monitoring and logging systems.
Network monitoring and system logs are required for HIPAA compliance. In fact, HIPAA requires businesses to keep logs for all systems for at least six years and to monitor those logs regularly. These logs include event logs, which are recorded pieces of information about actions taken using an organization’s systems and data. This includes information like:
- Employee login times
- Quantities of failed login attempts on system computers
- The time and date of the last system software update
- The time and date of a program download, along with who downloaded it
- Password change information
- Data access logs for EHR systems, including the date, time and accessing individual
- Data alteration information for protected health information (PHI), including what was changed, when, and by whom
All this information is beneficial for detecting patterns of behavior and identifying sources of data breaches for forensic purposes. Using these HIPAA compliant system logs in combination with a log monitoring system can assist in determining past attacks and prevent any future breaches.
CYBERShark and HIPAA Compliance
To help with this particular section of HIPAA security, healthcare businesses can employ HIPAA compliant IT software like CYBERShark from BlackStratus. The system includes several functions and abilities that help healthcare businesses address key HIPAA requirements around log management and monitoring, including:
- Log Capture and Management: The CYBERShark system collects HIPAA compliant system logs and event logs from all network devices. To ensure the security of information, these logs not only contain no personal information, but they are also encrypted both in transit and at rest using random AES-256 keys. These logs are then heavily protected to make sure only specific individuals can access them. The CYBERShark HIPAA compliant log management system then retains 12 months of logs, three months in active memory, all of which can be used for investigative or auditing purposes.
- Security Monitoring: The CYBERShark system also acts as a HIPAA compliant network monitoring system, watching for threatening behavior patterns like unauthorized patches, privilege escalations, data exfiltrations and more. If any such actions are detected, the system generates an alert and sends it to BlackStratus’ 24/7 Security Operations Center for review and verification, minimizing white noise alerts.
- Regulatory Reporting: As a system designed to be a HIPAA compliant IT software, CYBERShark makes reporting easier. The system includes built-in compliance reporting systems that meet HIPAA requirements.
No one product will guarantee HIPAA compliance for your business, but the right combination of systems can make all the difference. By adding CYBERShark to your arsenal as a HIPAA compliant logging software, you protect your healthcare business more completely while improving your HIPAA compliance. Even better, CYBERShark is a cloud-based and highly scalable program, so you get the power your business needs, no matter how many locations you manage.
Get Started With BlackStratus
Choose a network monitoring and logging software system that is designed to work for the healthcare industry. Contact BlackStratus today to learn more about the CYBERShark system. Call us at 203-263-1067 or go online to request a demo.