Compliance is a complex issue in many industries and organizations, and there are major fines and potential punishments for not meeting the laws and regulations. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is one of the main regulatory laws for the healthcare industry. As you probably already know, HIPAA protects the use and disclosure of patient data and ensures that healthcare organizations have the correct security measures in place to protect patient data.
Meeting the complex rules of HIPPA can be difficult though, and extremely time consuming. It can also be very expensive for an organization to ensure that they are meeting these requirements. The following are just some of the few easy ways which an Identity and Access Management solution can help an organization easily and cost efficiently meet HIPPA requirements.
Eliminating Shared Accounts
Often, in healthcare settings, your employees have a shared account with other employees, meaning that they all log in with the same credentials to access the systems and applications they need to perform their jobs. This can be an issue though since to meet HIPAA compliance organizations need to be able to document who each user is and what their role is in the organization. This forbids any shared accounts or concurrent logons.
Simply eliminating shared accounts can cause issues since employees will then have to remember several new sets of credentials for each system or application. In this case a single sign-on solution would ease the process of eliminating shared accounts and also help meet the requirements of HIPAA. With an SSO solution, employees will still only be required to remember a single set of credentials, which is unique for each employee. This will allow the organization to meet HIPAA requirements while also ensuring that the login process for employees will not drastically change.
HIPAA requires organizations to provide a complete audit trail of all users’ activity. This can be a difficult and time consuming task. An SSO solution can ease this process since it logs all end-user activities in the central database, as well as a copy of where every user name and password is encrypted and stored. It also reports exactly which user accounts have access to what applications along with the dates and times access actually occurred. This allows organizations to go back later and easily have the information for audits without having to spend hours locating all information.
Efficiently Revoking Access
A additional part of the HIPPA compliance states that upon termination, the company must have processes in place to revoke access to systems and applications. Revoking access for employees sounds simple, but this task is often overlooked and employees are left active. With an account provisioning solution system admins can easily disable employee accounts with one click. This ensures that the ex-employee are not accidentally left active and that they no longer has access to the organization’s systems and applications.