Windows 10 HIPAA Compliance 2021

Is Windows 10 HIPAA compliant? Yes and no. It really depends on which version that you are using, and how you use it. When used properly, Windows 10 Pro is HIPAA compliant. However, Windows 10 Home is not. To provide guidance to healthcare organizations, Windows 10 HIPAA compliance 2021 is discussed below.

Windows 10 HIPAA Compliance 2021 and Security

Windows 10 HIPAA Compliance 2021

There are several features available in Windows 10 Pro that are not available for the Home version of Windows. These features are required for HIPAA compliance as they ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information.

Domain Audit Control

Windows 10 HIPAA compliance 2021 requires each employee in your organization to have their own domain login. This enables organizations to track and log data access patterns for each employee. Audit logs are mandated by the HIPAA regulation as they ensure that PHI is only accessed by authorized personnel to perform a specific job function. Maintaining an audit log prevents employees from accessing PHI without cause, and allows administrators to detect unauthorized access to PHI.

Group Policy Management

Group policy management ensures that your organization’s administrative policies and procedures for automatic logoff, password policies, and sign in procedures are adhered to. This is because group policy management implements your policies and procedures at the device level.

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Remote Desktop

Remote desktop is particularly important for Windows 10 HIPAA compliance 2021 as an increasing number of employees have become permanent remote workers. Remote desktop allows remote workers to securely connect to their organization’s internal network through the use of VPN. For Windows 10 HIPAA compliance 2021, each workstation must have remote desktop enabled allowing employees to access their domain securely.

Device Guard

Device guard is a feature of Window 10 Pro that prevents employees from accessing or downloading unauthorized applications. It also prevents threat actors from accessing the operating system by strengthening security.

BitLocker Encryption

Encryption is an essential component of ensuring that protected health information is secure. Windows encryption, known as BitLocker, is only available to Pro users, and must be switched on by the user.

Windows 10 HIPAA Compliance 2021 and Business Associate Agreements

Under HIPAA, Microsoft is considered a business associate when their healthcare clients use their services in conjunction with PHI. This includes using Windows 10 as your operating system. As such, you must have a signed business associate agreement (BAA) with Microsoft before using their software. Microsoft offers a BAA to healthcare clients using Windows 10 Pro.

Windows 10: Polices, Procedures, and Training

Ultimately, software HIPAA compliance comes down to how it is used by the end client. To ensure HIPAA compliant use of Windows 10, you must have policies and procedures surrounding its use, and train employees on how to use Windows 10 in compliance with HIPAA standards.