HIPPA incidents, violations, and breaches can be difficult to navigate when malicious behavior is observed on a network. With a surge of ransomware attacks seen in the healthcare sector, it’s even more important that healthcare providers are complying with NIST and HIPPA standards. In this overview, we’ll outline the difference between incidents, violations and breaches and how to comply with HIPPA in light of a cyberattack.

Firstly, any suspicious activity in which patient health information (PHI) is compromised is identified as an incident. Then the incident will either be labeled as a violation or breach depending on the circumstances. A violation is defined as PHI being released in a manner that goes against HIPPA guidelines. This violation will then be labeled as a breach unless the PHI is unusable or there is a low probability that the data was severely compromised. In light of either an incident, violation, or breach, healthcare organizations have a timeline of 60 days from when the incident was first discovered to report it to HIPPA. Organizations can face large fines or lawsuits for failing to contact HIPPA when PHI has been exposed. Finally, once HIPPA is notified they will carry out an audit and the organization must provide proof of HIPPA compliant procedures. 

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