Are you doing your security framework right?
For a lot of organizations, that answer is ‘no’
It turns out many healthcare organizations get more than a few things wrong about their information security frameworks – big time. Whether it's about properly integrating a framework or even appropriately tailoring a framework, there's a list of items organizations should pay attention to.
If done right, information security frameworks can be used to meet an organization's risk analysis requirements under the HIPAA Security Rule, in addition to helping define a "baseline of protection," said Bryan Cline, senior advisor at HITRUST Alliance, but that's only if they're properly selected and implemented. And many organizations don’t necessarily do this successfully.
Cline, who will be speaking at the Healthcare IT News Privacy and Security Forum this March in a session on data security framework need-to-knows, says the biggest oversight he sees organizations make "is in not tailoring the framework appropriately." Added Cline, "organizations either rely on the framework without tailoring the requirements to address all reasonably anticipated threats, or they tailor the framework's requirements – usually by removing some of them – without fully understanding the additional risk that's incurred."
Sure, a security framework will help in the compliance arena, but improper tailoring and failure to keep it updated will inevitably lead to information-related risks being inadequately addressed, he said. This up-to-date piece is crucial, Cline said, because "frameworks also grow stale over time, as it can take several years for most frameworks to be updated and released."
Another big oversight, as Cline pointed out? Failing to integrate the framework into everyday operational processes. "For example," he said, "personnel with security responsibilities – whether in the security organization or elsewhere (e.g., HR or IT) – should be tied to the framework's controls and the security services that support their implementation." This, he added, would allow organizations to manage risk through managing the security services.
Cline, who is also the managing partner for Cline & Shiozawa Professional Services and previously the chief information security officer at Catholic Health East and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, at his forum session will go over security risk management frameworks and how they can be leveraged and used in an organization's data protection programs. This includes, as Cline pointed out, how they can use these frameworks to meet risk analysis requirements under the HIPAA Security Rule.