HIPAA Security Risk Analysis

Steps to Schedule Your HIPAA Security Risk Analysis:

hipaa security risk analysis

We assist you in meeting the requirement to conduct an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (ePHI). 

Our HIPAA Security Risk Analysis helps you remain in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 Security Rule 45 C.F.R. Section 164.308(a)(ii)(A) regulation as well to meet the requirement for a security risk analysis (SRA) under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Incentive Programs, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and, Merit-Based Incentive Payments System (MIPS), as applicable.

Check out our HIPAA Compliance Package.

Blue Goat Cyber offers a comprehensive HIPAA Security Risk Analysis (SRA) service designed to help healthcare organizations and their business associates ensure compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule, safeguarding electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). Our service is structured around a series of high-level activities to thoroughly assess your organization’s security measures, policies, and procedures against the 49 HIPAA Security Rule regulations. Here’s what our HIPAA SRA service entails:

Kickoff Meeting

We initiate the engagement with a kickoff meeting involving key members of your team across various departments such as Security, Privacy, Compliance, IT, HR, Legal, and Facilities. This meeting aims to outline the SRA process, set clear expectations, define roles, and establish a timeline for the assessment.

Review of Policies and Procedures

Our team reviews your existing policies and procedures documentation to ensure they align with the HIPAA Security Rule regulations. This foundational step is crucial for identifying any gaps in compliance.

ePHI Data Identification and Documentation

We guide your team in identifying and documenting the locations of HIPAA-covered ePHI data, including servers, workstations, portable devices, medical devices, and data shared with Business Associates. We also assess the security controls in place to protect this data.

Checkpoint Meeting

A checkpoint meeting is conducted to provide initial feedback on the reviewed policies and procedures documentation and the documented ePHI inventory. This step allows for early identification of potential compliance issues.

Compliance Review Meeting

We hold a compliance review meeting to evaluate the effectiveness of existing controls for each Security Rule regulation. This comprehensive review assesses your organization’s compliance evidence and preparedness for various threats and identifies compliance risks and corrective action recommendations.

Preliminary Risk Findings and Recommendations

Based on the discussions during the compliance review meeting, we document preliminary risk findings and recommendations, providing your team with a draft for review and feedback.

Final Security Risk Analysis Report

The culmination of our service is the delivery of a final Security Risk Analysis Report, which includes:

  • A detailed analysis of your organization’s compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule.
  • Identified risks and vulnerabilities to ePHI within your organization.
  • Prioritized recommendations for corrective actions to mitigate identified risks.

Risk Management Plan

Alongside the SRA Report, we deliver a Risk Management Plan that outlines the risk findings and actionable recommendations for enhancing your organization’s HIPAA compliance posture.

Executive Presentation (Upon Request)

If requested, we provide a presentation to your Executive/IT management, highlighting the significant findings and recommendations from the SRA Report, facilitating strategic decision-making and compliance efforts.

Why Choose Blue Goat Cyber for Your HIPAA SRA

Blue Goat Cyber’s HIPAA SRA service is meticulously designed to provide healthcare organizations with the insights and guidance needed to navigate the complexities of HIPAA compliance. Our collaborative approach, from the initial kickoff to the final report delivery, ensures that your organization understands its current compliance status and has a clear plan for addressing vulnerabilities and enhancing security measures to protect ePHI.

Partner with Blue Goat Cyber to strengthen your compliance posture, mitigate risks, and build a robust framework for protecting sensitive health information.

Blue Goat Cyber’s HIPAA Security Risk Analysis (SRA) service culminates in a suite of comprehensive deliverables designed to provide healthcare organizations with a detailed understanding of their HIPAA compliance status, actionable insights for enhancing ePHI security, and a strategic roadmap for mitigating identified risks. Here’s a detailed overview of the deliverables you can expect from our HIPAA SRA service:

1. Final Security Risk Analysis Report

This pivotal document encapsulates the findings from our thorough assessment of your organization’s adherence to the HIPAA Security Rule. The report is structured into several key sections:

  • Executive Summary: Offers a concise overview for senior management, highlighting the assessment’s scope, major findings, and potential impacts on the organization.
  • Methodology Overview: Provides transparency into the approach, tools, and techniques employed during the assessment, ensuring stakeholders understand the basis of our findings.
  • Detailed Findings: Presents a comprehensive analysis of each identified vulnerability, including:
    • Description: An in-depth explanation of the vulnerability, its context, and how it was identified.
    • Evidence: Supporting documentation, such as screenshots or code snippets, validating the finding.
    • Risk Rating: Assesses the severity of the vulnerability based on its potential impact and exploitability.
    • Recommendations: Offers prioritized, actionable strategies for remediation tailored to your organization’s specific context.
  • Compliance Overview: Evaluates how your current practices align with HIPAA requirements, pinpointing areas of non-compliance and providing guidance for achieving full compliance.

2. Risk Management Plan

Accompanying the SRA Report, the Risk Management Plan details the risk findings and prioritizes recommendations for mitigating these risks. This document serves as a strategic guide for your organization, outlining steps to strengthen your security posture and protect ePHI effectively.

3. Executive/IT Management Presentation (Upon Request)

Blue Goat Cyber offers to present the significant findings and recommendations from the SRA Report to your Executive or IT management teams upon request. This presentation is designed to facilitate understanding, decision-making, and action planning at the highest levels of your organization.

Benefits of Blue Goat Cyber’s HIPAA SRA Deliverables

  • Clarity and Insight: Our deliverables provide a clear and detailed view of your organization’s compliance status, highlighting vulnerabilities and offering actionable insights for improvement.
  • Strategic Planning: The Risk Management Plan and Executive Presentation equip your leadership with the knowledge and tools to prioritize and implement effective security measures.
  • Compliance Confidence: With a comprehensive understanding of your HIPAA compliance posture, you can confidently address regulatory requirements, ensuring your organization’s practices are up to standard.
  • Enhanced Security: Our prioritized recommendations help you focus on the most critical vulnerabilities, strengthening your defenses against potential threats to ePHI.

Leverage Blue Goat Cyber’s expertise through our HIPAA Security Risk Analysis service and its strategic deliverables to navigate the complexities of HIPAA compliance, enhance your cybersecurity measures, and safeguard sensitive health information.


Implementing a HIPAA Security Risk Analysis (SRA) with Blue Goat Cyber is not just a compliance exercise—it’s a strategic investment in your organization’s resilience against cyber threats and regulatory non-compliance. Here’s how our HIPAA SRA service delivers substantial ROI:

Mitigation of Data Breach Costs

  • Direct Savings: The cost of healthcare data breaches is among the highest across industries, considering fines, legal fees, and remediation costs. Our HIPAA SRA proactively identifies vulnerabilities, significantly reducing breaches’ likelihood and potential impact.
  • Indirect Savings: Beyond immediate financial losses, data breaches can result in long-term reputational damage and loss of patient trust. Our service helps maintain your reputation and patient loyalty by ensuring robust protection of ePHI.

Streamlined Compliance and Reduced Penalties

  • Avoidance of Fines: Non-compliance with HIPAA can result in hefty fines from regulatory bodies. Our comprehensive SRA ensures that your organization meets or exceeds HIPAA Security Rule requirements, effectively avoiding potential penalties.
  • Audit Preparedness: By identifying and addressing compliance gaps, our SRA makes your organization audit-ready, reducing the time and resources required for external audits and investigations.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency

  • Focused Remediation Efforts: Our detailed risk analysis and prioritized recommendations allow you to allocate resources more effectively, focusing on areas that present the highest risk to ePHI security.
  • Long-term Security Investments: The insights gained from our SRA enable strategic security investments, ensuring that spending on cybersecurity measures delivers maximum protective value and supports sustainable compliance.

Competitive Advantage

  • Market Differentiation: In a highly competitive healthcare market, demonstrating a strong commitment to patient data privacy and security can set your organization apart. Our HIPAA SRA positions you as a trusted entity, potentially attracting more patients and partners.
  • Business Associate Assurance: With increasing scrutiny on business associates’ compliance, our HIPAA SRA can also serve as a due diligence tool, ensuring that your partners uphold the same high standards of ePHI security, thereby protecting your interconnected data ecosystem.

Risk Management and Reduction

  • Comprehensive Risk Landscape Understanding: Our HIPAA SRA provides a detailed view of your current risk landscape, enabling informed decision-making and strategic risk management planning.
  • Proactive Threat Mitigation: By identifying and mitigating risks before they can be exploited, our service helps prevent security incidents that could disrupt operations and lead to costly downtime.

Beyond Compliance to Strategic Value

The ROI of Blue Goat Cyber’s HIPAA Security Risk Analysis extends far beyond compliance. It encompasses direct and indirect financial savings, operational efficiencies, competitive advantages, and a comprehensive approach to risk management. By investing in our HIPAA SRA, your organization not only meets regulatory requirements but also builds a stronger, more secure foundation for the future, ensuring the continued trust of your patients and the long-term success of your healthcare practice.


HIPAA identifiers serve various important purposes within the healthcare industry. These identifiers are essential for ensuring easy access to information to provide high-quality care services.

One key use of HIPAA identifiers is to balance protecting patient rights and enabling efficiency for covered entities. HIPAA compliance outlines specific circumstances where using and disclosing protected health information (PHI) without patient authorization is permissible. These circumstances include:

1. Conducting quality assessment and improvement activities: HIPAA identifiers allow healthcare organizations to assess and enhance patient care quality.

2. Developing clinical guidelines: With HIPAA identifiers, healthcare professionals can create evidence-based guidelines to promote efficient and effective medical practices.

3. Conducting patient safety activities per applicable regulations: HIPAA identifiers help perform activities that aim to ensure patient safety and adhere to relevant regulations.

4. Conducting population-based activities to improve health or reduce healthcare costs: By utilizing HIPAA identifiers, healthcare entities can engage in initiatives to improve public health or reduce healthcare expenses at a broader level.

5. Developing protocols: HIPAA identifiers enable the development of protocols that assist healthcare providers in delivering consistent and standardized care.

6. Conducting case management and care coordination: HIPAA identifiers facilitate effective case management and coordination of care among different healthcare professionals involved in a patient's treatment.

7. Contacting healthcare providers and patients to inquire about treatment alternatives: With the help of HIPAA identifiers, healthcare organizations can reach out to providers and patients to discuss alternative treatment options or gather additional information relevant to patient care.

8. Reviewing qualifications of healthcare professionals: HIPAA identifiers play a role in evaluating the qualifications and competence of healthcare professionals to ensure the delivery of high-quality care.

9. Evaluating the performance of healthcare providers or health plans: HIPAA identifiers assist in assessing the performance and effectiveness of healthcare providers and health plans to ensure optimal outcomes and patient satisfaction.

10. Conducting training programs or credentialing activities: Utilizing HIPAA identifiers, healthcare organizations can organize training programs and activities to enhance the skills and qualifications of healthcare professionals.

11. Supporting fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs: HIPAA identifiers aid in implementing fraud detection and compliance programs to safeguard against unlawful activities within the healthcare sector.

The "Wall of Shame" has faced criticism due to concerns over the way it handles organizations' cybersecurity breaches. Some argue that the portal tends to focus solely on the negative aspects of a breach, potentially causing long-term damage to a company's reputation. Critics suggest that the "Wall of Shame" fails to acknowledge or emphasize the positive steps that organizations may have taken to rectify their cybersecurity vulnerabilities after experiencing an incident. This lack of recognition for corrective actions and good-faith efforts to enhance cybersecurity practices could be seen as unfair and unbalanced in portraying organizations in the aftermath of a breach.

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is the cornerstone of patient privacy in the United States. It sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any entity covered by HIPAA must ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all the protected health information (PHI) it handles.

When there’s a breach, HIPAA requires these entities to report it, especially if it affects many individuals. That’s where the OCR Wall of Shame comes into play. It’s a transparency tool, showing the public how and where PHI breaches happen.

Furthermore, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), covered entities and their business associates are mandated to report any breaches to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR). If the reported breach impacts more than 500 individuals, additional ramifications and consequences are triggered. This stringent regulation ensures that breaches are promptly reported and dealt with in accordance with HIPAA guidelines.

Under HIPAA, 18 identifiers classify data as Protected Health Information (PHI). These identifiers encompass a wide range of information that can be used to identify an individual. The list includes commonly recognized identifiers such as names, addresses, and social security numbers. However, it goes beyond these basic details and encompasses other data points like geographic information smaller than a state, dates (excluding year) related to an individual, phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, and more.

In addition to these, the list also includes less commonly known identifiers such as medical record numbers, health insurance beneficiary numbers, account numbers, certificate/license numbers, vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, device identifiers and serial numbers, web URLs, IP addresses, biometric identifiers like finger and voiceprints, and full-face photographic images. It even encompasses any unique identifying number, characteristic, or code associated with an individual.

By providing this comprehensive list, Your article ensures that all relevant and potential patient identifiers are covered. It offers a thorough understanding of PHI under HIPAA regulations, highlighting the importance of safeguarding these identifiers to protect patient privacy and confidentiality.

In the intricate landscape of healthcare data and privacy, understanding and correctly handling Protected Health Information (PHI) is crucial for adherence to regulations and preserving patient trust and safety. This is particularly vital in light of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Let's explore PHI, its 18 identifiers, the potential repercussions of non-compliance, and the specific data not considered a HIPAA identifier.

PHI encompasses any data in a healthcare context that can be used to identify an individual, combined with information about their health status, provision of healthcare, or payment for healthcare services. Under HIPAA, 18 identifiers classify data as PHI, including names, geographic information smaller than a state, dates (excluding year) related to an individual, phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, social security numbers, medical record numbers, health insurance beneficiary numbers, account numbers, certificate/license numbers, vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, device identifiers and serial numbers, web URLs, IP addresses, biometric identifiers like finger and voiceprints, full-face photographic images, and any unique identifying number, characteristic, or code.

However, it is important to note that not all data falls within the scope of HIPAA identifiers. De-identified data or health information that cannot be used to identify an individual or provide a reasonable base to identify them is not considered a HIPAA identifier. This type of data, known as de-identified data, does not fall within the 18 identifiers specified by HIPAA. Additionally, de-identified data has been determined by an expert using a statistical or scientific method to have a very low chance of being used individually or in combination with others to identify a person. As a result, HIPAA laws do not apply to de-identified data.

Understanding the distinction between PHI and de-identified data is essential for healthcare organizations and individuals who handle health information. It ensures compliance with HIPAA regulations and safeguards patient privacy while balancing the need for data utilization in healthcare research and analysis.

HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a U.S. law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. Developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, these standards aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system.

Who Needs to Comply with HIPAA?

  1. Covered Entities: This is the primary group that needs to adhere to HIPAA. They include:

    • Health Plans: Insurance companies, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), employer-sponsored health plans, and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
    • Healthcare Providers: This encompasses doctors, clinics, psychologists, dentists, chiropractors, nursing homes, and pharmacies that transmit health information in electronic form in connection with transactions for which HHS has adopted standards.
    • Healthcare Clearinghouses: Entities that process nonstandard health information they receive from another entity into a standard format or vice versa.
  2. Business Associates: These are individuals or entities that perform certain functions or activities that involve the use or disclosure of protected health information on behalf of, or provides services to, a covered entity. This could include consultants, billing companies, IT service providers like Blue Goat Cyber, especially when dealing with medical device security assessment and testing services, and others who have access to protected health information (PHI).

Common causes of data breaches in the healthcare industry include a significant number of breaches resulting from outside theft and considerable breaches being caused by internal mistakes or neglect. Insider mistakes leading to data breaches often involve mailing or email errors, such as employees clicking on phishing emails, forwarding emails with sensitive information to personal accounts, and accessing protected health information without authorization. These actions contribute to a notable portion of data breaches in the healthcare sector.

Our purpose is simple – to secure your product and business from cybercriminals.

The number of cybersecurity incidents continues to climb. The variety of attacks continues to grow. It is no longer a question of if you will have a cyber event.