In this article, we will look specifically at the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standard, and how Airgap micro segmentation can help achieve organizations achieve compliance with this standard.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a US federal law that sets standards for protecting the privacy and security of individuals' health information. It applies to healthcare providers, health plans, health insurance companies, and other entities that handle protected health information (PHI). HIPAA requires organizations to implement administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI, and to protect against unauthorized access, use, disclosure, and destruction of PHI. HIPAA also establishes standards for individuals' rights to access and control their health information and imposes penalties for non-compliance. Overall, HIPAA is an important tool for promoting privacy and security in the handling of health information and helps to ensure that sensitive medical information is protected.
The HIPAA Set of Standards
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 to protect the privacy and security of individuals' health information and to ensure the portability of health insurance coverage. It establishes standards for the handling of protected health information (PHI) and applies to covered entities, which include healthcare providers, health plans, health insurance companies, and other entities that handle PHI.
HIPAA requires covered entities to implement administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI. This includes implementing access controls to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to PHI, conducting regular security risk analyses, encrypting and protecting PHI when it is stored or transmitted, and having incident response plans in place to respond to security incidents.
Additionally, HIPAA gives individuals certain rights with respect to their health information, such as the right to access their PHI, the right to request that their PHI be amended, and the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of their PHI. HIPAA also imposes penalties for non-compliance, including monetary fines and exclusion from participating in government healthcare programs.
Overall, HIPAA is an important piece of legislation that helps to promote privacy and security in the handling of health information. By setting standards for the protection of PHI and imposing penalties for non- compliance, HIPAA helps to ensure that sensitive medical information is protected and that individuals' rights to privacy and control over their health information are respected.
How does Airgap Networks’ microsegmentation fit into this framework?
Network segmentation is an important tool for organizations to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. By dividing a network into smaller, isolated segments, or ''zones,'' network segmentation helps to limit the scope of a security breach, reduce the attack surface, and improve the overall security of the network.
In the context of HIPAA, network segmentation can be used to separate sensitive health information, known as protected health information (PHI), from other types of data. This way, if a breach occurs, the attacker will not have access to the entire network and will not be able to access sensitive PHI. Network segmentation also helps to enforce access controls, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to PHI.
In addition to improving security, network segmentation also helps organizations comply with other HIPAA requirements, such as regular security risk analyses, encryption of PHI, and incident response planning. By implementing network segmentation, organizations can demonstrate that they have taken steps to protect PHI and to comply with HIPAA standards.
Overall, network segmentation is a key aspect of HIPAA compliance and can provide an extra layer of security that helps organizations protect sensitive health information, comply with HIPAA standards, and improve their overall security posture.
Airgap Networks’ agentless network microsegmentation places each endpoint into its own isolated network segment and allows only authorized communication between them. The default security policy is to disallow any communication between each endpoint/network micro segment unless authorized by the security operator. In this way, servers which are processing sensitive payment card information can be placed in their own isolated network segments and only authorized communication permitted between them.
Airgap Networks’ agentless microsegmentation helps organizations comply with HIPAA standards by limiting the scope of a security breach, reducing the attack surface, and improving the overall security of the network. It also helps enforce access controls, ensure that only authorized individuals have access to PHI, and support regular security risk analyses, encryption, and incident response planning.
Microsegmentation is an integral part of Airgap’s Zero Trust Everywhere solution, contributing to our customers' zero trust security initiatives and frameworks.