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HIPAA Auditing Software & Security Testing

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HIPAA Security Validation and Penetration Testing

HIPAA auditing software and penetration testing software is constantly evolving. Security and the validation of said security isn’t enough to confirm HIPAA compliance, it is only showing that the software and the hosting and configuration can be compliant itself. However, it is not showing that it’s being used in a compliant way.

All the covered entities and business associates working with the software could make adjustments or changes, maybe even use the data or system in a way that is not HIPAA compliant. As such, it is a requirement that software compliance go along with utilization compliance.

Software testing and penetration testing tools are only part of the puzzle. They remain incredibly important, however as they help ensure that the software, the hosting, and the infrastructure are kept at a standard that meets or exceeds the requirements as best as possible within the industry.

Technically, many, if not most or all, of the software testing tools that are available are not officially recognized by the HIPAA OCR group themselves rot the state that enforces these rules. The office for civil rights and the states themselves are the typically the ones enforcing data breach penalties and conduct audits, etc.

Although not recognized officially, these auditing software and penetrations testing software are still a good step to showing your organization took reasonable measures to ensure that the data was secure. You want to try and follow the best practices to ensure security and the infrastructure was locked down with minimal access guarantee. Utilizing these tools is very important from a compliance perspective. Compliance doesn’t stop there. It is a continual requirement, and something that will, ultimately, involve both the infrastructure and hosting alongside the internal resources and training covered with the team and associate team members.

Preventing Security Breaches

Auditing Tools and Testing

Software auditing tools and penetration testing are useful to look into a web application to see if it’s eCommerce, a medical billing portal, etc. The auditing tool goes into the site and attempts to access ports, protocols, and use outdated protocols to access information on the site. If the site is responsive and isn’t blocking older technologies and less secure technologies, then that will be reported.

Typically, these audits are looking to see if information is being sent of SSL and if the application itself is performing its work in a secure way. Depending on the tool used, you can actually record and go through sessions to validate that a sample user is getting and transferring their information securely while interacting with the application. Ultimately, this means you can run a simulation, seeing what the user is doing and validate it with these auditing tools.

The ideal scenario with these auditing tools is to set them up to run on a daily, weekly, or worse case, a monthly basis. You want them constantly running and validating the site. There are continual requirements for updating the underlying software, hardware and resources. If these are not updated, then the automated auditing report will show that in the report.

As such, its important all relevant parties are monitoring and reporting what they come across, allowing them to have the time and bandwidth to resolve any issues that may occur. Keep this in mind when looking into different platforms. Make sure they are able to constantly update their resources. Make sure you factor this all into your cost analysis. 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 in order for the work to be complete.

Access Where Access is Needed

Accessibility & Access Restriction

Another important factor about automated penetration testing and software audit is that they 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 a lot of options when allowing access to these automated tools. They can be installed in a way that they can access all of the infrastructure behind the first layer of defense resources. A lot of cloud hosting providers, like Azure or Amazon, AWA offer audit tools for their cloud infrastructure. A lot of other HIPAA compliant hosting providers also provide this type of information on the infrastructure side of things.

You want to validate and test both the software and the infrastructure. You want to test behind the Firewall of the website, making sure that the database, physical files, and any other information is locked down and encrypted.

How Can Clarity Help

Clarity Marketplace Experts

We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you to help you find the tools that match your budget and needs. Generally speaking, we do encourage running these tools more often than required, alongside running tests and audit simulations. We want to do everything to prevent your data being breached, all while keeping it a smooth process.

We hope this has helped you understand the importance of penetration testing and auditing software. 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 about HIPAA eCommerce and HIPAA billing portals below. Thank you, and we look forward to working with you.

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