AHIMA Issues Cybersecurity Plan for Healthcare Organizations | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

AHIMA Issues Cybersecurity Plan for Healthcare Organizations

December 18, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Cyber attacks against the healthcare industry are growing at an accelerated pace, and to help healthcare organizations strengthen their cybersecurity programs and defend against a cyber attack, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently released a 17-step cybersecurity plan.

AHIMA notes that Information governance (IG)—the development of an organization-wide framework for managing information throughout its lifecycle and supporting the organization’s strategy, operations, regulatory, legal, risk and environmental requirements—is a critical organizational initiative that healthcare organizations must embrace in order to thrive in the environment of cyber threats and attacks in healthcare today. Once information governance program is created and implemented, a cybersecurity plan needs to be reviewed at least quarterly to ensure the organization is taking the necessary steps to prevent or detect an attack.

The 17 steps that ANIMA recommends as part of a complete cybersecurity plan are:

  1. Conduct a risk analysis of all applications and systems
  2. Recognize record retention as a cybersecurity issue
  3. Patch vulnerable systems
  4. Deploy advanced security endpoint solutions that provide more effective protections than standard antivirus tools
  5. Encrypt the following: workstations (high-risk) and laptops; smartphones and tablets; portable media and backup tapes (if tapes are still being used)
  6. Improve identity and access management
  7. Refine web filtering (blocking bad traffic)
  8. Implement mobile device management (MDM)
  9. Develop incident response capability
  10. Monitor audit logs to select systems
  11. Leverage existing security tools like Intrusion Prevention System/Intrusion Detection System (IPS/IDS) to detect unauthorized activities
  12. Evaluate business associates
  13. Improve tools and conduct an internal phishing campaign
  14. Hire an outside security firm to conduct technical and non-technical evaluations
  15. Prepare a “State of the Union” type presentation for an organization’s leaders on cybersecurity
  16. Apply a “Defense in Depth” strategy
  17. Detecting and preventing intrusion


Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Geisinger, AstraZeneca Partner on Asthma App Suite

Geisinger has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of products that integrate into the electronic health record and engage asthma patients and their providers in co-managing the disease.

Analysis: Healthcare Ransomware Attacks Decline in First Half of 2018

In the first half of 2018, ransomware events in major healthcare data breaches diminished substantially compared to the same time period last year, as cyber attackers move on to more profitable activities, such as cryptojacking, according to a new report form cybersecurity firm Cryptonite.

Dignity Health, UCSF Health Partner to Improve the Digital Patient Experience

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a digital engagement platform that officials believe will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

Report: Digital Health VC Funding Surges to Record $4.9 Billion in 2018

Global venture capital funding for digital health companies in the first half of 2018 was 22 percent higher year-over-year (YoY) with a record $4.9 billion raised in 383 deals compared to the $4 billion in 359 deals in the same time period last year, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report.

ONC Roundup: Senior Leadership Changes Spark Questions

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has continued to experience changes within its upper leadership, leading some folks to again ponder what the health IT agency’s role will be moving forward.

Media Report: Walmart Hires Former Humana Executive to Run Health Unit

Reigniting speculation that Walmart and insurer Humana are exploring ways to forge a closer partnership, Walmart Inc. has hired a Humana veteran to run its health care business, according to a report from Bloomberg.