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HHS confab looks at HIPAA and cybersecurity

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Beast, a Windows-based backdoor Trojan horse.

Maria Hirsch of FierceHealthcare was at last week’s annual meeting on HIPAA and cybersecurity co-hosted by the Health and Human Services Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Among her observations:

“{A} session on ransomware provided great insight from government experts who discussed the increasing sophistication of this type of malware and what to do to fend off such attacks. They recommended, among other things, that employees be trained to be suspicious of all emails, that providers have responsible backup plans for their data, that they limit access, that they use up-to-date antivirus software and that they prepare for the possibility of attack.”

“Panelists addressed the increased use of connected devices, the unique difficulties of protecting medical devices and the importance of knowing what devices are connected to one’s network.”

An update …brought attendees up to speed regarding the HIPAA audits, which are underway. The government’s line was that the audits are designed to be educational, to identify best practices and get in front of HIPAA problems before they result in breaches.

To read more about the conference, please hit this link.

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