HIPAA security compliance and software vulnerability management

by | May 8, 2017 | Blog, Software Vulnerabilities

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Software vulnerabilities can cause major problems for developers and developing managers. More than 50% of all software breaches involve web applications; however, less than 10% of organizations review critical applications for security. That’s why using a quality software vulnerability management tool is essential to avoid these costly issues.

In addition to using advanced vulnerability testing software, it’s important to abide by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). If you aren’t abiding by HIPAA’s regulations, you could risk some serious financial punishments. Here are a few things to consider in order to comply with HIPPA.

What is HIPAA?
HIPAA-Covered Entities (CEs) are in place to safeguard the Protected Health Information (PHI) of individuals and to control the distribution of that information when permitted. In 2006, the Enforcement Final Rule granted the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) the power to issue financial fines to CEs that do not comply with HIPAA’s regulations.

Classifications of HIPAA Violations:

  1. Category 1 — The CE committed a violation that it was unaware of and did not realistically have a chance of avoiding the violation. As long as the CE can prove a reasonable amount of effort went into abiding by HIPAA regulation, a category 1 violation would be granted.
  2. Category 2 — The CE should have been aware of the violation, but, even with a reasonable amount of effort to avoid the issue, could not have realistically avoided the violation.
  3. Category 3 — The CE violated a HIPAA rule and was “willfully neglectful.” To be considered a category 3 violation, the CE must prove that it made at least an attempt to prevent or correct the violation.
  4. Category 4 — The CE willfully neglected HIPAA’s res and made no attempt to correct or prevent the violation.

HIPAA Violation Penalties:

  • Unknowing –The minimum penalty for a category 1 violation is $100 up to $50,000.
  • Reasonable Cause — The minimum penalty for a category 2 violation is $1,00 up to $50,000.
  • Willful neglect with correction — The minimum penalty for a category 3 violation is $10,000 up to $50,000.
  • Willful neglect without correction — The minimum penalty for a category 4 violation is $50,000 up to an annual maximum of $1.5 million.

These violations can completely destroy your developing plans so it’s important to handle all software vulnerabilities with extreme caution and under HIPAA compliance. Using quality software to avoid application software vulnerabilities is an essential part of developing. If you want to learn more about an effective software vulnerability management system, contact Code Dx today.

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