Cybersecurity and the HIPAA Security Officer

Last year, health data breaches affected more than 27 million patient records.

The healthcare industry was the victim of 88% of all ransomware attacks in U.S. industries last year, according to Solutionary, an NTT Group security company.

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas was recently fined $3.2 million over HIPAA violations.

We do not want to scare anyone, but cybersecurity is a real thing and based on the frequency of these attacks and their consequences we need to consider cybersecurity an important part of our daily routine.

Let’s look at this from another angle, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) there are two sections that require compliance officers. HIPAA Privacy requires a HIPAA Privacy Officer and HIPAA Security requires a HIPAA Security Officer. The HIPAA Privacy Officer mostly deals with privacy issues and hardcopies. The HIPAA Security Officer deals with cybersecurity and electronic health information.

The average salary of a HIPAA Privacy Officer is $52k per year. On the other hand, HIPAA Security Officers earn an average of $106k per year. HIPAA Security Officers can also move up in the technology world and become Chief Information Security Officers with an average salary of $223k per year. Top salary for Chief Information Security Officers we could obtain was $421k per year.

So, while the money is tempting positions for Security Officers and above are harder to find as the demand has been increasing significantly. Also, it will be irresponsible for us not to mention that the rise in Government audits, ransomware attacks, data breaches and changes due to the Omnibus Rule are also making it difficult to keep good help in any one job.

After analyzing the above information, we came up with the following summary:

  • Cybersecurity is real and we all need to learn more about it.
  • The healthcare arena seems to be an attractive target for cyber criminals.
  • Becoming a HIPAA Security Officer looks like a good investment for the future.

Learn more about cybersecurity and how to become a HIPAA Security Officer at the Compliance and Healthcare Innovation Conference.