The rise in ransomware attacks, combined with the U.S. Department of Human Services creating stricter guidelines for HIPAA compliance, means healthcare organizations across the country need to re-evaluate their practices and procedures. If an organization suffers a ransomware attack, confidential patient information could be at risk. This is a clear HIPAA violation, so ransomware attacks must be taken seriously. Here are a few important things you need to know about ransomware and HIPAA compliance.
Encrypted Health Information is a Breach
When your network is infected with ransomware, some (if not all) of your data will be forcibly encrypted. When this happens, it’s considered a breach of information and has to be disclosed. While this isn’t a purposeful breach in terms of HIPAA compliance, it still needs to be addressed by all healthcare organizations, especially with the creative ways hackers are able to get into systems and hold confidential data at ransom.
Be Careful Who Has Access to Information
You can have some of the best managed services providers to help protect your information, but if you grant access to the wrong people, you could be putting yourself at risk of HIPAA noncompliance. This can be difficult for many organizations, since a typical practice will allow more people to have access to information so they can do multiple jobs. However, only giving them access to minimal information will help prevent an accident from happening and provide fewer holes for a potential ransomware attack.
Protecting From Ransomware Attacks to Ensure HIPAA Compliance
When an unauthorized person takes control over sensitive and confidential information, it’s a breach in HIPAA compliance. This is the exact definition of a ransomware attack, so your firm needs to address it. The best way to do so is to use a top IT security service to ensure any and all holes in your system are patched up.
The fewer access points a hacker has to get in your system, the harder it will be for them to enter. By conducting regular risk assessments and updates to the IT system, you’ll be able to achieve HIPAA compliance much more easily.
Single Point of Contact is the leader in managed services providers for healthcare organizations. We know exactly what it takes for your organization to be protected from ransomware and maintain HIPAA compliance, so be sure to contact us today to see how we can help.