While frustration with the complexity of the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule continues to mount among healthcare organizations, the risks to patient information security continue to grow. In response to these challenges, New Boundary Technologies, a provider of automated configuration and security management solutions, is introducing a comprehensive HIPAA Compliance Solution.
In conjunction with the introduction of its HIPAA Compliance Solution, the company has outlined what it deems three of the top security concerns for organizations tasked with ensuring the security and integrity of computers and EPHI.
1) The Malware Menace. Viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware and other forms of malicious software pose a major threat to the security of EPHI. Anti-virus and anti-spyware products help, but they only treat the symptoms of infection instead of the cause, which is an improperly configured computer. By hardening computers with the appropriate security configurations, organizations can eliminate the vast majority of system vulnerabilities that malware exploits.
2) Automatic Log-off. Workers in healthcare settings occasionally leave their computer workstations without logging off. This poses a security risk, especially when the workstation is in an area accessible to unauthorized people. The HIPAA Security Rule states that covered entities must implement electronic procedures that terminate an electronic session after a predetermined period of inactivity.
3) Removable Media. The proliferation of USB devices such as thumb drives and even iPods has created a world in which data can be downloaded to a tiny device and stolen with the click of a mouse. Patient files, folders and personal information residing on the computers at HMOs, hospitals and other healthcare organizations are at risk.
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