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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

United States Health Department Updates HIPAA Guidelines

Posted January 25, 2013    Morey Haber

United States Health DepartmentIt comes as no surprise to information technology security professionals that data leaks and privacy issues can occur at virtually any level of an organization including business associates, contractors, subs-contractors and outsourced firms like payroll and billing. With this, it is has been a long time coming that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) update their guidelines to extend security and privacy requirements to organizations and individuals that do business on behalf of the health care provider.

The amended Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security rules, which provide statutory governance for the the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), has now formalized requirements for when data breaches must be reported to HHS and penalties for non-compliance. These revisions also include criteria for any organization or individuals that handle Protected Health Information (PHI) on behalf of the parent entity. According to Leon Rodriguez, the Director for Civil Rights at HHS, “These changes not only greatly enhance a patient’s privacy rights and protections, but also strengthen the ability of my office to vigorously enforce the HIPAA privacy and security protections, regardless of whether the information is being held by a health plan, a health care providers, or one of their business associates.”

For information technology professionals performing vulnerability management to secure patient data, the scope of your assessments has just increased to include entities outside of your organization. This represents a new challenge for legal contracts, assessments, and auditing of affiliate data and systems in order to document compliance. It will not longer be possible to shrug off their security problems, inadequate policies, and faulty operations. Your organizations IT security department has now become a part of the bigger umbrella to secure Protected Health Information (PHI) at all of your businesses affailiates.

For users of Retina, our solutions are capable of providing HIPAA based regulatory reporting to verify asset security at the device or organizational level. Our management platform, Retina CS, supports multi-tenant environments, and can be easily configured to manage vulnerability data to support any affiliate business organization that your expanded scope may warrant. This configuration not only will allow you to continue to assess your own environment, but bring in air gapped and off line data from an associate business for reporting without having “data bleed”. Below is an example of this type of reporting for a single organization:

hipaacompliancesummary

If your business has not begun reporting vulnerability management data in terms of regulatory compliance initiatives such as HIPAA or HITRUST, now is a good time to get started since these updates will be upon us soon. If you are, a simple license expansion of Retina, and some basic configuration will be all you need to manage the additional assets within your scope.

These new rules will take affect March 26. Businesses and their associates will have until September 23, 2013 in order to comply. For more information on how BeyondTrust can you with HIPAA compliance, please click here.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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patch-tuesday

December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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