DON’T LET HIPAA AUDITING UPDATES LAG
Continued Monitoring and Maintenance
HIPAA compliant auditing tools are usually set up to run daily or weekly to constantly validate the site’s security. There are continual requirements for updating the underlying software, hardware, and resources. The automated auditing report may show that the website isn’t following HIPAA audit trail requirements if these are not updated. Let’s look at some of the most common ways that HIPAA compliant websites are maintained.
Updating Website Security
Much like the average computer user needs to update their anti-virus software, the team protecting a HIPAA website must update software that protects against the newest forms of hacking. Staying of top of these updates is an imperative part of website security.
Monitoring Other Breaches
If one secure site is breached, many other sites likely have the same vulnerability. Anyone in web security should stay abreast of security news so that they are aware of the latest attacks that could also affect the sites they monitor.
Protect Against Brute Force Attacks
Brute force attacks are performed by malicious code that attacks login portals. These bots try millions of random login combinations per second to get past the first wall of defense like a portal. Successful bots can glean login information, identify site vulnerabilities, and steal user information. Therefore, site managers should put guards in place to defeat the latest generation of brute force attacks.
Secure Internally and Externally
It is unlikely that bots will succeed with a brute force attack against good security, but it could happen if a hacker writes a particularly clever bot. If this bot succeeds in getting past the login page, all the data it finds behind that portal must be properly encrypted with the latest protections (the first point mentioned above).
White Hat Hacking
The idea of the “white hat” comes from Western movies, where the good guys always wear white. Black hat hackers try to collect data for nefarious purposes. On the other hand, white hat hackers are employed to try to breach a website with the intention of finding website vulnerabilities and then reporting back to the administrators so that they can be fixed. Most times, a white hat hacker won’t breach the system entirely — doing so could show up on logs and violate HIPAA audit trail requirements — but they will collect information about the most likely exploits a black hat hacker could find.
Keep Users Informed
Security measures aren’t just limited to the code. It’s also important to keep up to date with the users of a HIPAA website. Users of the site should be required to use robust passwords and two-factor authentication. Admins should inform employees of the most recent social engineering tactics that trick users into giving away information.
Follow HIPAA Logging Requirements
Speaking of HIPAA audit trail requirements, it’s incredibly important for anyone protecting a HIPAA website to have software in place that keeps track of access to the site. This includes who has access, when they accessed it, if they changed anything, and if anything was left behind (such as malicious code). It’s essentially a paper trail that can help prove that the proper steps were followed during an OCR HIPAA audit. There is a significant difference between being breached (something that could happen no matter what security was put in place) and willful negligence.
Work As A Team
It’s important for all relevant parties — including HIPAA compliance officers — to monitor and report what they come across, allowing them to have the time and resources to resolve any issues that may occur. Keep this in mind when looking into different platform suppliers to make sure they follow HIPAA audit trail requirements. You want to have ongoing maintenance and support planned for in order to ensure that your eCommerce or billing portal is secure and that you’ve given the appropriate resources for HIPAA standards to continue.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH HIPAA STANDARDS REGARDING ACCESSIBILITY
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Regular maintenance should be a part of your HIPAA compliance checklist, and you should also figure it into your budget. We’re ready to give you a quote regarding continued monitoring of your HIPAA website security.
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Accessibility & Access Restriction
Another important factor regarding automated pentesting and software audits is that the tests themselves only have access to what they are given. For example, if you or your provider just give them the website information, then those tools will not be able to penetrate all the way through to deeper levels, such as the hosting infrastructure. Ideally, this would never happen, but you probably want to audit multiple layers of defense to be sure your platform is truly secure.
There are many options when allowing access to these automated tools. They can be installed in a way that they can access all the infrastructure behind the first layer of defense resources. Many cloud hosting providers like Azure or Amazon offer audit tools for their cloud infrastructure. Other HIPAA compliant website hosting providers also provide this type of information.
You want to validate and test both the software and the infrastructure, which means securing your applications and portals while choosing a HIPAA compliant website provider. In addition, you should test behind the Firewall of the website, making sure that the database, physical files, and any other information is locked down and encrypted.
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Clarity: Your HIPAA Compliant Website Experts
We welcome the opportunity to collaborate and help you come up with a HIPAA compliance checklist so that you can choose the software that matches your budget and needs. You must do everything you can to keep up with HIPAA standards so that you are not found in violation when an OCR HIPAA audit occurs. Becoming a Clarity partner can make it happen.
We hope this has helped you understand the importance of HIPAA auditing and penetration testing. If you have any questions or would like a complimentary review session, feel free to reach out to us here at Clarity. We have also provided further resources regarding HIPAA eCommerce and HIPAA billing portals below. We look forward to working with you.
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Clarity has helped hundreds of companies find the right HIPAA eCommerce platform to combine your current software and PHI behind one portal. Talk to one of our experts to see what we can do for you.
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