The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government, Restaurants, and Utilities.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts. We look forward to your comments, so please join the conversation.


  • Coalfire Participates in Cybersecurity Disaster Exercise at the 2019 HSCC Spring Summit

    April 18, 2019, Rich Curtiss, Principal, Healthcare Risk Assurance Services

    The Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) conducted their biannual Joint Cybersecurity Working Group (JCWG) All-Hands Meeting on April 3-4, 2019. As a member of HSCC, Coalfire participated in the JCWG meeting with other security leaders from across the healthcare industry and was able to take part in their cybersecurity disaster preparedness exercise. The meeting is designated as a Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) meeting under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. 

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  • How Hospitals Can Tie Cost Reduction to a Solid Data Security Program

    February 12, 2019, Michelle Caswell, Principal, Healthcare Assurance Services, Coalfire

    When I have conversations with hospitals and other organizations subject to HIPAA, one of the first questions asked is “if I have a data breach, will OCR fine me, and if so, how much?” Many organizations decide to gamble: they opt to save time and money by not implementing a robust information risk and compliance program on the chance that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) won’t fine them in the event of a breach. Although the OCR is the regulatory agency that enforces HIPAA, their fines are only one potential expense an organization incurs for a data breach.

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  • HIPAA Complaints, OCR Investigations, and Security Risk Analysis for Healthcare Delivery Organizations – A Common Thread

    November 26, 2018, Rich Curtiss, Principal, Healthcare Risk Assurance Services

    Many HIPAA covered entities (CEs) and business associates (BAs) may not be meeting the regulatory mandate as defined in §164.308(a)(1)(ii)(A) of the HIPAA Security Rule. This implementation specification requires that healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) “Conduct an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information held by the covered entity or business associate.”

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  • Coalfire Teams with Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) for Fall Summit

    October 18, 2018, Rich Curtiss, Principal, Healthcare Risk Assurance Services

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charged the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) with serving as a partnership between the private and public healthcare sectors. To that end, two unique councils were formed: The Healthcare and Public Health Government Coordinating Council (HGCC) was established by presidential directive to sustain the essential functions of the nation’s healthcare and public health system; the HSCC is a companion council established by presidential directive as a private sector counterpart with similar mission objectives. A key difference between the two is the HSCC is a purely voluntary organization whose membership is solicited to provide influence and expertise within the healthcare industry.

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  • The Unhealthy Security of Healthcare

    September 25, 2018, Qasim Ijaz, Director, Coalfire Labs

    I have been involved in a number of healthcare penetration tests here at Coalfire and in my previous roles. I have hacked electronic medical records, medical devices, and most importantly, humans. From my time as a systems engineer at a medical device and systems vendor to my current role at Coalfire as a penetration tester, I have seen a few healthcare organizations grow from highly insecure to cyber-fortresses. In this blog, I will highlight the most common issues my teammates and I come across while penetration testing healthcare environments.

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