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.


  • Healthcare Security Pros Prioritize Sharing and Caring in the Wild, Wild West of Healthcare

    January 02, 2018, Deborah McLain, Director, Heathcare & Life Sciences, Coalfire

    Security professionals from healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs), medical device manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona for the NH-ISAC Cyber Rodeo Summit last month. The big topics were how to share more threat intelligence, while at the same time ensuring the highest level of patient care and safety.

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  • Highlights from the HITRUST Health Industry Third Party Assurance Summit

    November 19, 2015, Andrew Hicks, Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice Director

    On June 29, 2015, the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced that several massive payer organizations, including Anthem, Health Care Services Corp., Highmark, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group will require their business associates to obtain CSF certification.  While this is old news, HITRUST assembled more than 350 business-associate attendees at the “Health Industry Third Party Assurance Summit: Driving Efficiencies and Compliance through the HITRUST Assurance Program” last Friday as a way for business associates to (1) better understand the reasons for the mandate, (2) understand the journey to CSF certification, (3) interact with CSF Assessor organizations (such as Coalfire), and (4) learn about current initiatives underway at HITRUST.

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  • A huge applause from the NIST-OCR-HIPAA 2015 conference

    September 09, 2015, Andrew Hicks, Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice Director

    It looked like the 8th annual conference may have garnered record-breaking attendance as I noticed hotel staff rushing to add skirted tables and chairs to the back of the room to accommodate a standing-room-only crowd.  I guess that was to be expected given the star-studded line-up of presenters including HHS OCR Director Jocelyn Samuels, her brand new Deputy Director, Deven McGraw, and the OCR enforcer, Iliana Peters.  We also heard from government officials at the FTC, the ONC, NIST’s NCCoE, and the HHS Preparedness and Response office.  The audience responded to each session with a line of people trailing from the microphone set up for Q&A – and with excellent questions, too!

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  • Is penetration testing required for HIPAA compliance?

    June 22, 2015, Andrew Hicks, Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice Director

    In this blog post we’re going to focus our discussion on the technical requirement part of this standard.  The evaluation is supposed to establish the extent to which a covered entity’s (or business associate’s) security policies and procedures meet the requirements of the HIPAA Security Rule.  A question is posed: how does an organization evaluate this requirement without performing specific technical testing?

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  • Final HITECH Act Stage 3 Meaningful Use Rules May Require Annual Risk Analysis plus a Risk Management Component

    June 03, 2015, Andrew Hicks, Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice Director

    The comments are in and the HHS is scrambling to review them all before they issue the final Stage 3 Meaningful Use rules later this summer.  Comments from entities such as CHIME and HIMSS represent good news and bad news for healthcare providers, depending on how you look at it.  The HIPAA Security Rule has always required a risk analysis, but now there could be an annual requirement for risk analyses.

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