What is HIPAA Compliance for Kubernetes?

kubernets featured

Healthcare providers are turning to rapid-development cloud applications and security to optimize their healthcare and business operations. The race for better security and performance has led developers from on-prem servers to cloud infrastructure to containers, including the well-known container orchestration platform Kubernetes.

In this article, we introduce Kubernetes, how it works, and how it applies to different professional scenarios. 

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Government Ransomware Is Everyone’s Problem

The word “ransomware” has become synonymous with the healthcare industry, but government ransomware attacks are a growing threat.

Over the past year, the healthcare industry has been battered by an epidemic of ransomware attacks. The problem has become so ubiquitous that it is making their way into works of fiction: A ransomware attack on a hospital in a major city is the focus of an upcoming episode of the NBC drama Chicago Med. However, a new study by security ratings firm BitSight reveals that the number-one target for ransomware is the education industry, followed by the government sector. In fact, BitSight reports, government ransomware attacks have tripled over the past 12 months.

The word “ransomware” has become synonymous with the healthcare industry, but government ransomware attacks are a growing threat.

Among the recent high-profile government ransomware attacks that have grabbed headlines:

Why the Public Sector is Being Targeted

Government agencies are attractive ransomware targets for many of the same reasons medical facilities and schools are. Their networks store and process reams of highly sensitive data; public sector employees suffer from the same lack of security training and awareness that plague the private sector; and an inability to access a government network could put people’s lives at stake, as in the case of the 911 center in Ohio.

Government bureaucracy exacerbates the problems. While it may not be easy for IT personnel at a private-sector corporation to convince the C-suite they must invest in cyber security improvements – just ask anyone who worked at Yahoo! – nailing down an appropriate security budget can be even more difficult at a government agency. Not only must public-sector IT employees argue their case to their bosses, but also, the general public, the taxpayers whose money will be used to fund these improvements, have to be convinced. As the Pew Research Center recently found, very few Americans have even a fundamental grasp of cyber security risks and best practices, creating a situation where elected figures are asking their constituents to fund services they do not fully understand and may not see a need for. The government machine also tends to move very slowly; public sector agencies have always been notorious for being years behind the private sector in adopting new technologies.

Not surprisingly, BitSight ranks the government sector second-to-last in its security ratings.

Cyber Security is Not a Partisan Issue

There are some bright spots in the fight against government ransomware and other cyber attacks against the private sector. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) has made cyber security the focal point of his chairmanship of the National Governors Association. The association’s winter meeting in February put a heavy emphasis on the need for state and federal governments to work together to improve their cyber security postures.

Government ransomware attacks are not a partisan issue, and there is no such thing as an agency that is “too small” to be victimized. A series of small cyber attacks could be employed by terrorists to create confusion and distraction as part of a much larger real-world terrorist attack. Attacks against the public sector, whether a federal government agency or a local police department, are a matter of public safety. They are everyone’s problem. Waiting until an attack happens and attempting to clean up the mess doesn’t work in the private sector, and it certainly doesn’t work when critical infrastructure such as a 911 system is hampered or disabled. Government agencies of all sizes must take the ransomware threat seriously and employ proactive cyber security measures to prevent their systems from being victimized.

The cyber security experts at Lazarus Alliance have deep knowledge of the cyber security field, are continually monitoring the latest information security threats, and are committed to protecting organizations of all sizes from security breaches. Our full-service risk assessment services and Continuum GRC RegTech software will help protect your organization from data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber threats.

Lazarus Alliance is proactive cyber security®. Call 1-888-896-7580 to discuss your organization’s cyber security needs and find out how we can help your organization adhere to cyber security regulations, maintain compliance, and secure your systems.

RegTech Eases Compliance Costs & Strengthens Cyber Security

RegTech Simplifies Governance, Risk, and Compliance

As compliance costs skyrocket, standards grow increasingly complex, and the cyber threat environment evolves, organizations are turning to RegTech solutions to automate their compliance processes and improve their overall cybersecurity posture.

As compliance costs skyrocket, standards grow increasingly complex, and the cyber threat environment evolves, organizations are turning to RegTech solutions to automate their compliance processes and improve their overall cybersecurity posture.

Compliance with regulatory and industry standards, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, FedRAMP, and SSAE 16 SOC reporting, are a burdensome yet necessary part of doing business in the digital world. Organizations operating in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare and finance, face significant compliance challenges, especially when they must comply with multiple standards. HIPAA, for example, applies to any organization that handles medical records, including schools, collection agencies that handle medical debt, personal injury attorneys, and SaaS providers of healthcare software; meanwhile, these same organizations may also have to comply with PCI DSS, SSAE 16 reporting, SOX, and other applicable standards.

Organizations must figure out which standards apply to them, then continually keep up with reporting requirements, audits, and the inevitable changes in those standards as technology and the cyber threat environment evolve. It is estimated that regulatory compliance costs U.S. businesses about $2 trillion annually, and in a perverse twist, small business’s compliance costs are over three times higher than what large companies bear. This heavy burden helps explain why so many enterprise cyber security “plans” start and end with compliance, even though compliance does not equate to data security. It’s not necessarily that organizations don’t care about whether their data is secure, but that they spend so much money and time on compliance, there’s nothing left to tackle cyber security.

Fortunately, technology has made it possible for organizations to achieve compliance and secure their systems and data, at an affordable cost.

RegTech to the Rescue

One of the biggest problems in many organizations is the fact that their compliance processes – or the processes of their third-party compliance providers – are not automated. Some companies still use spreadsheet programs such as Excel for compliance reporting and audits, even though Excel was never meant to be used with the very large data sets produced by today’s complex data environments. But RegTech software, such as Continuum GRC’s IT Audit Machine (ITAM), can.

While the term “RegTech” is most commonly associated with the finance industry, RegTech solutions can be employed by any organization that must adhere to compliance standards, including healthcare, cloud computing, SaaS, education, and public-sector organizations. RegTech solutions utilize big data capabilities and rapid report creation to automate data management and reporting. Instead of multiple, disparate spreadsheets and ledgers, RegTech software creates a centralized repository of all IT compliance requirements with associated controls and automated information flows for audits, assessments, and testing.

Making Sense of Big Data

The big problem with big data is that it amounts to a lot of big noise unless you have the capability to analyze it and derive actionable insight from it. RegTech doesn’t just simplify your compliance processes; it also strengthens your enterprise’s cyber security by providing the advanced data analysis capabilities you need to make sense of your data environment and discover where your vulnerabilities lie. The ITAM, for example, integrates IT governance, policy management, risk management, and incident management. In addition to taking the pain out of the compliance process, it empowers you to document and analyze IT risks, develop mitigation plans, define security controls, and manage ongoing risk assessments so that you can anticipate new and emerging threats and stop them before a breach occurs.

RegTech is poised to transform IT governance, compliance, and cyber security. Organizations that employ this new technology will free up money, time, and human resources to innovate, create, and pursue long-term organizational goals instead of being bogged down in regulatory paperwork and worried about data breaches and other cyber attacks.

The cyber security experts at Lazarus Alliance have deep knowledge of the cyber security field, are continually monitoring the latest information security threats, and are committed to protecting organizations of all sizes from security breaches. We offer full-service risk assessment services and Continuum GRC software to protect companies from data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber threats.

Lazarus Alliance is proactive cyber security®. Call 1-888-896-7580 to discuss your organization’s cyber security needs and find out how we can help your organization successfully simplify Governance, Risk, and Compliance, and secure your systems.