The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is one of the most crucial requirements for healthcare software developers (HIPAA). The private health information is protected by this law. Anyone who owns or invests in a medical firm is aware of it, but failing to adhere to its regulations properly can have very harsh repercussions. Millions of dollars in fines were imposed last year as a result of HIPAA information privacy violations. How do you make sure your product complies with HIPAA regulations?
These precautions are in place for a good reason. Numerous breaches have occurred as a result of the rising demand for important healthcare information on dark web black markets.
Companies did not preserve ePHI’s availability, confidentiality, and integrity in a reasonable or adequate manner. Healthcare organisations had to pay millions of dollars in fines on behalf of the breach victims due to inadequate hardware and software controls.
Below we have listed HIPAA compliance checklist for software development.
1. TRANSPORT ENCRYPTION
Before being transmitted, every ePHI (electronic Protected Health Information) must be encrypted. The first step in making sensitive health information secure with SSL and HTTPS protocols is to ensure that HIPAA-compliant software encrypts it during transmission. According to the HIPAA compliant hosting checklist, your public or private cloud provider should permit you to configure your SSL to ensure robust encryption techniques. The former safeguards login pages as well as pages that gather or display health data. Alternative, insecure versions of these pages shouldn’t exist.
Verifying that the HTTPS protocol is configured correctly and that no outdated or unsafe TLS versions are present is advised.
Hash values can be used to transmit and store passwords. This can stop compromising events when used in conjunction with safe complex passwords. Here is further information on how WordPress-based websites adhere to HIPAA regulations.
2. BACKUP AND STORAGE ENCRYPTION
In order to prevent data loss in the event of an accident or disaster, the majority of hosting companies offer backup and recovery services. Data should be securely backed up, kept, and only accessible by authorised staff.
When working with sensitive PHI, one must make sure that only authorised individuals have access to it. This includes all of the data kept in your software system, including logs, databases, and backups. It might be kept in places outside your control, like on a server used by multiple clients of the same hosting company. The data must continue to be encrypted and inaccessible in case this server is compromised in any way.
With strong keys, we use an industry-accepted encryption with the AES and RSA algorithms for this purpose (preferably 256 bits for AES, and at least 4096 bits for RSA). An alternate approach may be to use PostgreSQL manager, which includes built-in data encryption functionality.
We also employ managed databases with encryption in the public cloud, such as Cloud SQL on the Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).
It is imperative to take all reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorised damage or alteration of the information you collect, store, and transport. Making ensuring that your system can instantly identify and report any illegal data tampering, even if just one piece has altered, is the first crucial step in this process. This is accomplished in website creation by digitally signing and then verifying each piece of data that is stored or transferred in the system using tools like PGP, SSL, etc. The system must then be developed and built in such a way as to shield all data from unwanted access.
Making your medical software HIPAA-compliant requires taking the steps listed above, such as routine backups, encryption, access authorization with appropriate user roles and rights, as well as limiting physical access to the infrastructure.