Resource Overview

Conducting an SRA in accordance with HIPAA policy is a complex task, especially for small to medium providers such as community health centers. The HIPAA Security Rule mandates security standards to safeguard electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) maintained by electronic health record (EHR) technology, with detailed attention to how ePHI is stored, accessed, transmitted, and audited. This rule is different from the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which requires safeguards to protect the privacy of PHI and sets limits and conditions on it use and disclosure. Meaningful Use supports the HIPAA Security Rule. In order to successfully attest to Meaningful Use, providers must conduct a security risk assessment (SRA), implement updates as needed, and correctly identify security deficiencies. By conducting an SRA regularly, providers can identify and document potential threats and vulnerabilities related to data security, and develop a plan of action to mitigate them.

Security vulnerabilities must be addressed before the SRA can be considered complete. Providers must document the process and steps taken to mitigate risks in three main areas: administration, physical environment, and technical hardware and software. The following set of resources provide education, strategies and tools for conducting SRA.

Security Risk Analysis Resources

Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients

A publication of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, Section 405(d) Task Group

HITEQ Center 0 969

The HIPAA Security Rule establishes the requirements for protection of electronic patient health information. The safeguards identified are made up of three domains that include administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that need to be addressed. The technical safeguards as defined within 45 CFR §164.312 of the HIPAA Security Rule can be some of the most difficult to comprehend and implement for smaller Health Centers with lower levels of IT and security staffing. Resources and tools that help Health Centers better process and implement these security requirements are much needed and require well-documented methods for planning and maintaining critical security controls.

Security Risk Assessment Overview Presentation and Templates for Health Centers

A HITEQ Privacy & Security Resource - October 2018 updates for the ONC SRA tool

HITEQ Center 0 9610

To successfully attest, providers must conduct a security risk assessment (SRA), implement updates as needed, and correctly identify security deficiencies. By conducting an SRA regularly, providers can identify and document potential threats and vulnerabilities related to data security, and develop a plan of action to mitigate them.

Health Center Defense Against the Dark Web Presentation

Last presented at the Nevada PCA Annual Conference

HITEQ Center 0 4236

It is of critical importance to motivate and educate healthcare professionals on current critical privacy and security concepts and methods for defense of health data. Aspects of security awareness training, breach protection, incident response, and related topics all play a role toward organization-wide information protection. Healthcare cybersecurity is the ultimate team sport. The responsibility goes beyond the IT staff and includes front and back office staff, doctors and nurses, patients, executives, and the board of directors. The attached presentation is directed to all levels of the healthcare organization so that they may be proactive and aware.

Creating and Managing Strong Passwords at Your Health Center

Guidance in relation to updated NIST security requirements and HIPAA

HITEQ Center 0 11016

Is it acceptable/recommended for health centers to adopt the new password policy guidelines under NIST Special Publication 800-63B and will that still uphold the HIPAA security rule? This question had been posed to the HITEQ Center asking whether we had any guidance or recommendations on implementing the new NIST Guidelines regarding password security.  New Digital Identity Guidelines under NIST Special Publication 800-63-B presents new guidelines regarding password security that are much more user-friendly and consequently more likely to be observed by health center staff since constantly changing, complex password on multiple systems can be a source of frustration for the end user. 

Ransomware Guidance Presentation for Health Centers

Updated with current information on the SamSam Ransomware Threat

HITEQ Center 0 13990

A rapid increase in the computerization of health care organizations, many without the capacity to keep up to date with the extensive privacy and security measures required, has made them targets for cyber-criminals. In the last couple of years there have been numerous ransomware attacks that has held critical hospital data at ransom.

Health Centers may be perceived as more vulnerable targets by cyber-criminals due to a potentially smaller IT staff and older set of IT infrastructure (e.g., operating systems without latest security updates). To make things worse, a decrease in the black market price of health data has increased hackers needs to pursue ransom from further providers.

Health IT Privacy & Security Skill Sets

The Importance of Information Security for all Health Center Staff

Since 2010, the healthcare industry has seen a remarkable increase in the use of technology in the administration and delivery in healthcare. This has led to a mass migration of data from paper charts and isolated systems to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and interconnected systems that transmit patient health and financial information across trusted and untrusted networks. While this has been a boon for the industry in its ability to provide timely information to those who need it the most, this transition has introduced a great deal of risk to the confidentiality and integrity of the information. Coupled with the fact that the information can be quickly monetized by criminals through insurance fraud and identity theft, the ecosystem is target-rich.

Exploring the ONC Security Risk Assessment Tool

Health IT Privacy & Security Technology Learning Community

Office of the National Coordinator 0 7086

ONC hosted a webinar to launch the Health IT Privacy & Security Technology Learning Community. This learning community is exploring the ONC Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool. It is looking to leverage stakeholder expertise to help inform health care delivery system reform and advance the use of interoperable health IT to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare. The webinar was held on October 25 at 2pm ET.

There is not a recording available at the moment, but the link below will take users to a YouTube overview of SRA tool use.

Security Risk Analysis Toolkit

A resource from the Office of the National Coordinator

HITEQ Center 0 6882

A well-done security risk assessment (SRA) will identify security vulnerabilities across the breadth of a healthcare organization's health information systems. Factors will include policy, organizational and technical related requirements to privacy and security measures. ONC, in recognizing the complexity of this task for small to medium healthcare providers developed a toolkit to assist in conducting SRAs.

Encrypting Data at Rest on Servers

Implications for Health Centers

HITEQ & HLN Consulting 0 5713

It is common practice today to encrypt data at rest, that is, data stored on servers. This is especially applicable to health centers who are less frequently actively transporting data across disparate networks. Like many smaller healthcare organizations, Health Centers are particularly vulnerable to potential attack and infiltration by data hackers for several reasons: they tend to have fewer technical support staff, resource limitations make it harder to assess, implement, and maintain safe data practices, and organizational inertia limits preventive action when no threat is perceived. 

How to Establish an Ongoing Security Program and Meet Meaningful Use Requirements for Security Risk Analysis

An SRA brief for Health Centers

HITEQ Center 0 5038

In order to comply with the Security Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you need to maintain an ongoing security program. The HIPAA Security Rule mandates security standards to safeguard electronic protected health information (ePHI) maintained by electronic health record (EHR) technology, with detailed attention to how ePHI is stored, accessed, transmitted, and audited. This rule is different from the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which requires safeguards to protect the privacy of protected health information (PHI) and sets limits and conditions on the use and disclosure of PHI. 

How to Protect EHRs at Scale and With Crypto-Agility

HIMSS Learning Center Webinar

Alyssa Carlisle 0 5850


Patients willingly share Personal Health Information (PHI) living in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) with trusted healthcare providers, yet how reliable are the controls in place to ensure continual privacy? When data is physically and digitally shared across so many networks, what protection scenarios must be considered? The answer, any and all. Cyber criminals are becoming more inventive every day, demanding action from healthcare networks to move at pace with their adversaries.

While budget and staffing continue to be named as the biggest issues in the healthcare IT, what steps can be taken to ensure security and overall trust to deliver the best patient care? The solution is to either increase budget/personnel or people or invest in agile automation.

During this webinar, you'll learn:

  • Widening threat landscape for EHR breach
  • How to securing EHRs containing PHI at scale
  • The benefits of investing in crypto-agile automation tools aimed at enhancing patient experience


MARK THOMPSON - Vice Presidnet of Product Management CSS

As the Vice President of Product Management at Certified Security Solutions, Mark is responsible for strategic management of the company's product portfolio and market adoption. Prior to CSS, Mark was Sr. Director of New Product Introduction for Aclara Technologies, and the product manager for Aclara's Metrum line of LTE products. He was at Aclara since 1998 where he developed the STAR network product line and developed and ran product marketing for several wireless communication solutions for gas, water, and electric utilities. Mark founded the Wi-Fi Alliance Smart Grid Task Group, which is responsible for the certification program for Smart Energy Profile 2.0 running on Wi-Fi devices. Mark is the former chair the group and member of the ZigBee Smart Energy and Consortium for SEP Interoperability. Mark also founded the IEEE 802.11ah standards group devoted to the development of Sub-GHz Wi-Fi for Smart Grid and sensor networks, and was its first chair. Mark was a voting member of the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Panel and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the UTC’s Smart Networks Council.

TED SHORTER - Chief Technology Officer CSS

Responsible for CSS' Intellectual Property development efforts, Ted helps align CSS’ security focus with the changing Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) landscape. A renowned Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) expert, Ted has provided oversight to hundreds of private-sector Enterprise PKI deployments. Ted has worked in the security arena for over 25 years, in the fields of cryptography, application security, authentication and authorization services, and software vulnerability analysis. His past experience includes 10 years at the National Security Agency, a Master's Degree in Computer Science from The Johns Hopkins University, and an active CISSP certification.




This resource collection was cultivated and developed by the HITEQ team with valuable suggestions and contributions from HITEQ Project collaborators.

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