All Posts in Category: HIPAA Blogs

Portrait of three uniformed doctors not being optimistic about the healthcare system. Check out these HIPAA Settlements.

“Two recent HIPAA settlements should remind health care industry to stay vigilant,” attorneys say

“Two recent HIPAA settlements should remind health care industry to stay vigilant,” attorneys say.

Health care providers need to be mindful of two recent major Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) settlements to avoid being similarly targeted, two industry attorneys say.

“Health care providers need to stay vigilant and proactive in maintaining HIPAA compliance in all facets of operations,” Bruce D. Armon and Karilynn Bayus, both of Saul Ewing in Philadelphia, said in a joint email to Legal Newsline.

Regular internal self-audits of HIPAA compliance and active review of policies and procedures and forms can help ensure good conduct. Mistakes can always occur.

“Creating and maintaining a committed culture of compliance can help mitigate circumstances that can lead to HIPAA investigations and/or payment of fines and entering into a corrective action plan.”

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false sense of security

Does HIPAA Compliance Give A False Sense of Security?

The fact that HIPAA compliance isn’t bulletproof – that cyber security frameworks around health information require a new level of vigilance – is now axiomatic.Perhaps owing to whatever legislative sausage-making gave birth to HIPAA, to protect the privacy and security of protected health information, the law offers no guidance on how to follow it.

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doctor's mobile devices

1 in 5 Doctor’s Mobile Devices May Be At High Risk

As important a role as mobile plays in healthcare, it may also pose an equally serious threat, according to a report by Skycure, a mobile threat defense company based in Palo Alto, Calif. In fact, the report found that the doctors who use mobile devices—approximately 80% of doctors use mobile devices and 28% store patient data on their mobile device, according to the report– in their day-to-day practice are exposed to network threats that increase over time.

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small hipaa violations

Small HIPAA Violations Can Cause BIG Problems

The large data breaches that compromise the protected health information (PHI) of thousands of people are the ones that receive all the attention, but the smaller violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can be just as harmful, if not more so, to those involved. Healthcare leaders too often devote most of their attention to the large breaches and not enough to the more common, smaller violations, experts say.

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hospitals hit with ransomware

2 More Hospitals Hit With Ransomware

Hospitals and healthcare providers are increasingly falling victim to crypto-ransomware attacks. While attacks over the past few months have not been highly targeted thus far, they have caused a great deal of disruption. And disruptions at hospitals can have a much more dire impact than at most other organizations vulnerable to malware-based extortion.

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ransomware hackers steal hospital

Ransomware Hackers Steal A Hospital. Again.

A month after a hospital in Hollywood was shut down by a ransomware infection that encrypted all the files on its computers and computer-controlled instruments and systems, another hospital, this one in Kentucky, has suffered a similar fate.

The hacker who stole Hollywood Presbyterian asked for $3.6 million, but settled for a piddling $17,000 (40 bitcoin), presumably after they realized that their random infectious agent had kidnapped a giant, high-profile institution that would be able to motivate serious law-enforcement investigations that would move ever-closer to their true identity the longer the ransom negotiations continued.

Ransomware Hackers Steal Hospital Information, Again

Henderson, Kentucky’s Methodist Hospital has declared an “Internal State of Emergency,” having been shut down by a piece of ransomware called “Locky.” The hospital’s spokeslawyer, David Park, said that they’re addressing the ransomware attack using plans designed to help the hospital weather a tornado or other natural disaster.

The attackers are only asking for $1,600 (4 bitcoin) to unlock the hospital’s files.

Brian Krebs speculates that the attackers didn’t set out to hold a hospital to ransom, and have no real appreciation of how much they could be asking for (though the Kentucky hospital seems to have been less compromised than the one in Hollywood). He warns that in future, ransomware creeps will start targeting their attacks, aiming for victims who have more to lose, and more to spend, when their data is taken from them.

“We haven’t yet made decision on that, we’re working through the process,” with the FBI, he said. “I think it’s our position that we’re not going to pay it unless we absolutely have to.”

The attackers are demanding a mere four bitcoins in exchange for a key to unlock the encrypted files; that’s a little more than USD $1,600 at today’s exchange rate.

Park said the administration hasn’t ruled out paying the ransom.

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