Guidance on Ransomware Attacks under HIPAA and State Data Breach Notification Laws

By on August 8, 2016

On July 28, 2016, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance (guidance) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on what covered entities and business associates can do to prevent and recover from ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks can also trigger concerns under state data breach notification laws.

The HIPAA Security Rule requires covered entities and business associates to implement security measures. It also requires covered entities and business associates to conduct an accurate and thorough risk analysis of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of electronic protected health information (ePHI) the entities create, receive, maintain or transmit and to implement security measures sufficient to reduce those identified risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level. The HIPAA Security Rule establishes a floor for the security of ePHI, although additional and/or more stringent security measures are certainly permissible and may be required under state law. Compliance with HIPAA’s existing requirements provides covered entities and business associates with guidance on how to prevent and address breaches that compromise protected health information. The new HIPAA guidance specific to ransomware reinforces how the existing requirements can help an entity protect sensitive information.

Read the full article here.

Michael G. MorganMichael G. Morgan
Michael Morgan is a leader of the Firm’s Global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading lawyers in cyber incident response, Mike has guided clients through some of the largest and most complex data breaches, including state-sponsored attacks, breaches involving more than 50 million records, and incidents affecting persons in more than 100 countries around the world. He represents clients in the defense of breach-related government investigations and class action litigation as well as pre-breach planning and post-breach remediation. Read Michael Morgan's full bio.

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