From HHS’s October cybersecurity newsletter:
Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) released a threat brief on the different types of social engineering1 that hackers use to gain access to healthcare information systems and data.2 The threat brief recommended several protective measures to combat social engineering, one of which was holding “every department accountable for security.” An organization’s sanction policies can be an important tool for supporting accountability and improving cybersecurity and data protection. Sanction policies can be used to address the intentional actions of malicious insiders, such as the stealing of data by identity-theft rings, as well as workforce member failures to comply with policies and procedures, such as failing to secure data on a network server or investigate a potential security incident.
The HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules (“HIPAA Rules”) require covered entities and business associates (“regulated entities”) to ensure that workforce members3 comply with the HIPAA Rules. Regulated entities are responsible for protecting the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI)4 by training their workforce, adopting written policies and procedures, and sanctioning workforce members who violate those policies and procedures.5 Sanction policies are specifically required by both the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule:
The Security Rule requires covered entities and business associates to: “[a]pply appropriate sanctions against workforce members who fail to comply with the security policies and procedures of the covered entity or business associate.”8
Read more at HHS.