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5 of 9 HIPAA Network Considerations

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been posting a blog series around nine HIPAA network considerations.

  1. HIPAA Audits will continue
  2. The HIPAA Audit Protocol and NIST 800-66 are your best preparation
  3. Knowledge is a powerful weapon―know where your PHI is
  4. Ignorance is not bliss
  5. Risk Assessment drives your baseline
  6. Risk Management is continuous
  7. Security best practices are essential
  8. Breach discovery times: know your discovery tolerance
  9. Your business associate(s)must be tracked

This week we focus on #5 – Risk Assessment drives your baseline.

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Attend the 2013 PCI Community Meeting for the Latest Core PCI Standards

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC) is an open global forum for the ongoing development, enhancement, storage, dissemination, and implementation of security standards for account data protection. The 2013 meeting will focus on the updates to core PCI standards: PCI DSS, PTS PA-DSS.

Getting the latest information about the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) is vital as products and technologies continue to change at a rapid pace. Being part of the conversations, networking with like-minded professionals, and interacting directly with payment card brands are just a few of the benefits of attending the seventh annual PCI SSC North American Community Meeting. The meeting runs September 24–26, 2013, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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4 of 9 HIPAA Network Considerations

The fourth consideration in this 9 HIPAA Network Considerations blog series, we look at whether ‘not knowing’ is a valid defense post-breach. Is Ignorance Bliss, or will that get you into trouble?

Remember, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule was released January 23, 2013, became effective March 26, 2013 with compliance to the updates se for September 23, 2013. Audits will also start up again for covered entities and business associates in late 2013 or early 2014. Read More »

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3 of 9 HIPAA Network Considerations

Next in this 9 HIPAA Network Considerations blog series, I cover the third network consideration focusing on knowing where your PHI is.  Remember, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule was released January 23, 2013, became effective March 26, 2013 with compliance to the updates se for September 23, 2013.  Audits will also start up again for covered entities and business associates in late 2013 or early 2014.

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TMA? Get Some Relief from Acronym Overload

I see and hear a variety of acronyms being used on a daily basis. I recently heard one tossed around with good humor that makes a point: TMA or Too Many Acronyms. Every once in a while, when I think I’ve embedded the definition and use of an acronym into my long-term memory (anything beyond an extended weekend), it seems as if either a new acronym was spawned, or it has been overloaded with a different meaning. My goal in this blog post is offer both a refresher on some topical acronyms that appear to be quite commonly circulated in security technology circles and media outlets. It is challenging to be a subject matter expert in every aspect of cyber security. Whether you are reading an article, joining a conversation or preparing for a presentation or certification in the realm of cyber security, you may not be completely perplexed by these acronyms when you come across them and become more familiar with them. For situational purposes, I organized the acronyms into categories where I have seen them used frequently and included related links for each of them.

Network Infrastructure

AAAAuthentication, Authorization, and Accounting. This is a set of actions that enable you to control over who is allowed access to the network, what services they are allowed to use once they have access, and track the services and network resources being accessed.

ACL/tACL/iACL/VACL/PACLAccess Control List. ACLs are used to filter traffic based upon a set of rules that you define. For ACLs listed with a prefix (for example, t=transit, i=infrastructure, V=VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network), P=Port)), these ACLs have special purposes to address a particular need within the network.

FW/NGFW/FWSM/ASASM: Firewall/Next Generation Firewall/Firewall Service Module/Adaptive Security Appliance Services Module. These products provide a set of security features designed to govern the communications via the network. Cisco provides firewall features as a dedicated appliance or hardware module that can be added to a network device such as a router.

IPS: Intrusion Prevention System. Typically, this is a network appliance that is used to examine network traffic for the purposes of protecting against targeted attacks, malware, and application and operating system vulnerabilities. In order to ensure the effectiveness of a Cisco IPS device, it  should be maintained using Cisco’s IPS subscription service.

DNSSECDomain Name System (DNS) Security Extensions. That’s right, we have an acronym within an acronym. These are the specifications for security characteristics that make it possible to verify the authenticity of information stored in DNS. This validation makes it possible to provide assurances to resolvers that when they request a particular piece of information from the DNS, that they receive the correct information published by the authoritative source. Read More »

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