October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and security should be top of mind for your business. When healthcare organizations think about cybersecurity best practices, HIPAA security risk assessments and remediation plans come to mind.

In addition to improving your cybersecurity posture, both risk assessments and HIPAA remediation plans are essential parts of HIPAA compliance.

Healthcare Cybersecurity Best Practices

The HIPAA regulation is not particularly helpful regarding healthcare cybersecurity guidance. Part of the reason this is so is because HIPAA was enacted before the electronic age. At the time, healthcare data protection was pretty straightforward. However, with the significant adoption of technology in healthcare, cybersecurity has become a vital part of a business’s success. 

In response to the IoT, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance several years ago to help healthcare organizations improve cybersecurity.

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Healthcare cybersecurity best practices include:

  1. Email protection systems
  2. Endpoint protection systems
  3. Access management
  4. Data protection and loss prevention
  5. Asset management
  6. Network management
  7. Vulnerability management
  8. Incident response
  9. Medical device security
  10. Cybersecurity policies

To ensure that protected health information (PHI) is secure, it is essential to implement measures to address HHS recommended healthcare cybersecurity best practices. 

To provide guidance on the recommended HHS cybersecurity best practices, we will be releasing articles throughout the month on each.

Security Risk Assessment and HIPAA Remediation Plans

The annual requirement to complete a security risk assessment (SRA) ties into the HHS recommended cybersecurity best practices and the need to implement remediation plans. The purpose of a HIPAA security risk assessment is to identify security gaps and improve healthcare cybersecurity. When conducting an SRA, you review your current security measures against HIPAA standards, thus ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI.

Healthcare organizations must use the findings from their SRA to create remediation plans. To be effective, HIPAA remediation plans must be specific, including how deficiencies will be addressed, who is responsible for remediation, and a timeline for remediation. 

Find out more about completing your annual HIPAA security risk assessment by signing up for our webinar here.

Keep an eye out for cybersecurity articles throughout October.

HIPAA Protects You

HIPAA & cybersecurity go hand in hand. Protect your business, become compliant!