HIPAA Isn’t Helping! In Fact It May Be Hurting!

October 22, 2015 — 1 Comment

HIPAAHIPAA Isn’t Helping

If You Want To Help Sure Up Security, Start With HIPAA

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ll be interviewing Marc Haskelson later today, Founder and President of The Comliancy Group. He didn’t write the HIPAA requirements, but he understands them, and knows which of your clients need HIPAA.  He also knows where it falls short.

HIPAA Is Not Security – It’s A Government Law

Do you know what HIPAA stands for?  Google it and you’ll come up with more than one answer…if you’re going bring it up in a meeting, make sure you know.  Here it is: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. (Note, it’s not the information portability act, and it’s not HIPPA).

It would have been great if the authors of HIPAA understood technology and security. The fact is, many of your clients either require HIPAA compliance, or will in the near future. The problem is, “HIPAA isn’t helping” healthcare security according to Gary McGraw, CTO of Cigital (a leading software development firm headquartered in Dulles, VA.)  If you’ve read my book, The House & The Cloud, 2nd Edition, you know I agree.  There’s a large chasm between compliance and security, but regardless, HIPAA is required.

In a recent study, “Healthcare overwhelmingly scored lower than financial services firms, ISVs, and consumer electronics firms, which include some Internet of Things providers.” according to Kelly Jackson Higgins, in an article posted on DARKReading.

As McGraw states it, “All [HIPAA] did was increase bureaucracy and the tiny print stuff handed out each time you go to the doctor. It over-focused the healthcare domain on privacy and patient privacy data, which is an important thing. But there are many other aspects of security that have little to do with privacy.”

The real problem with HIPAA is it has given doctors a false sense of security. In a recent healthcare conference I spoke at, every session that had something to do with security was all about HIPAA. When I gave my presentation, I started by asking the audience to forget about HIPAA for just one hour, and listen to what it means to be secure.  The response was one of surprise. No one had ever told these people that data, governed by HIPAA, was still at risk.

Over the past year we’ve seen numerous companies attacked, regardless of their HIPAA compliance efforts. To name just a couple; Anthem and UCLA Health come to mind.

I have a colleague who recently took a job with Websense.  This year they publised a study showing healthcare organizations are being hit 3 or 4 times as often as other firms by cyber attacks. Forbes noted in a recent article that healthcare data is worth 10 times that of credit card data on the black market.  A Trend Micro study shows that “nearly 27% of data breaches reported over the past decade occurred in the healthcare sector, and healthcare was the hardest hit by identity theft in the past 10 years, with 44.2% of those cases caused by insider leaks,” (Cited by the DARKReading article above).

Here’s The Problemcompliancy group

People think they are secure when they are compliant. HIPAA requires so much paperwork that the security issues get lost in the process. The financial companies know they’re a target, while a recent survey published by Trustwave reports that healthcare IT professionals don’t.

How can you get involved? First, where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity.  I’m interviewing Marc today to get a better sense of what HIPAA really requires, and to show technology resellers how to get involved. Healthcare companies and their third-party providers both need help as well as education on HIPAA. The House & The Cloud Message was extremely effective in the healthcare conference I spoke at. For the first time their eyes were opened, and they saw the need. This kind of education opens doors of opportunity that are both helpful to your clients and profitable to your business.

Here are two things you can do…

First, visit the Compliancy Group Site to get more information on how to become a HIPAA Security Provider. Marc will do everything he can to help you get up and running with minimal time and investment.

Second, enroll in the Security Sales Mastery Program – If you qualify with one of the many sponsors supporting this program, I can get you a free seat (Normally $450).  Contact me and we’ll find a way to get you into the program.

© 2015, David Stelzl

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Is the Cloud Really Secure? Should You Trust The Cloud? « Dave Stelzl's Blog - October 26, 2015

    […] security. But as we saw with JP Morgan last year, nothing is impenetrable.  On the other hand, healthcare organizations seem to be way behind, both in their understanding of risk vs. compliance, and their ability to […]

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