Yet another study reveals that millions of people are picking weak passwords, with "123456" remaining our collective favorite. Rules requiring stronger passwords and not forcing passwords to expire both could help boost security.
HHS has issued new health data privacy guidance and announced a contest to create an online "model privacy notice generator." Plus, it's issued a reminder about the importance of reviewing and securing audit logs to help prevent and detect breaches.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who's been tapped by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to lead a cybersecurity corporate outreach program, runs a security consulting firm with a website that's been given a failing grade for its security.
In a reminder of HIPAA's tough requirements for breach notification, federal regulators have issued a $475,000 financial settlement and corrective action plan for Chicago-based Presence Health tied to its tardy notification for a 2013 paper records breach affecting only about 800 individuals.
Hackers have apparently hijacked potentially thousands of vulnerable MongoDB databases and demanded ransoms for the return of critical data, with some victims paying up, according to security researchers.
The lack of a smoking gun - absolute certainty - has some security experts not entirely convinced that the Russians or their backers hacked Democratic Party computers in an attempt to sway the U.S. presidential election.
The transition to a new presidential administration makes forecasting for HIPAA enforcement activity in 2017 difficult, says privacy attorney David Holtzman of the consultancy Cynergistek, who sizes up what the HHS Office for Civil Rights might do this year.
The National Governors Association, in a new road map for improving nationwide secure health data exchange, proposes that states attempt to better align their privacy laws to the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule to help remove legal barriers.
The impact of the patient data privacy and security provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law Dec. 13, will depend, in part, on who is chosen to study key issues and come up with recommendations, says attorney Steven Teppler.
Federal regulators have issued new guidance to clarify what uses and disclosures of patient information for public health reporting, surveillance and investigations are permitted under HIPAA's privacy regulations.
President Obama is expected on Dec. 13 to sign the 21st Century Cures Act, which the Senate passed on Dec. 7. Among its long list of provisions, the bill lays out a number of privacy and security-related projects for HHS, including imposing fines on those that intentionally block health data information sharing.
The House has easily approved a heavily reworked version of the 21st Century Cures bill that was stripped of controversial proposed changes to HIPAA. The measure, which would provide $6.3 billion for various efforts to advance medical innovation and is backed by the White House, will proceed to the Senate next week.
Federal regulators have issued a warning to healthcare sector organizations about a phishing email campaign that pretends to be compliance audit communications from the nation's top HIPAA enforcer. But who's really sending out these emails?