Alert: New HIPAA Rules Could Affect Your Organization's Email SystemWritten by Paul Judge
On April 21, 2005, a new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security rule went into effect. The requirements of this rule, which are basically information security best practices, focus on three cornerstones of a solid information security infrastructure: confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.
The HIPAA regulatory requirements encompass transmission, storage and discoverability of Protected Health Information (PHI). Given widespread use and mission-critical nature of email, enforcement of HIPAA encryption policies and growing demand for secure email solutions, email security has never been more important to healthcare industry than it is right now.
Although many assume it applies only to health care providers, HIPAA affects nearly all companies that regularly transmit or store employee health insurance information. HIPAA was signed into law in 1996 by former President Bill Clinton, with intent of protecting employee health and insurance information when workers changed or lost their jobs. As Internet use became more widespread in mid-to-late 1990s, HIPAA requirements overlapped with digital revolution and offered direction to organizations needing to exchange healthcare information.
HIPAA in Workplace Collaboration between employers and healthcare professionals has grown increasingly digital, and email has played an ever-increasing role in this communication. However, emailís increased importance can lead to severe consequences without proper security and privacy measures implemented.
In addition to usual concerns about privacy and security of email correspondence, even organizations that are not in healthcare industry must now consider regulatory compliance requirements associated with HIPAA. The Administrative Simplification section of HIPAA, which, among other things, mandates privacy and security of Protected Health Information (PHI), has sparked concern about how email containing PHI should be treated in corporate setting. HIPAA, as it relates to email security, is an enforcement of otherwise well-known best practices that include:
"Winnie the Pooh": Online Educational Fun for ChildrenWritten by Jesse S. Somer
Recently I read a very cool book called "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff written back in 1980's. It shows how popular children's cartoon bear Winnie Pooh created by A.A. Milne in England in 1920's, though a Western concept, actually embodies ideology of great Chinese (Eastern) philosophy Taoism (pronounced Daoism). I remember enjoying Winnie Pooh stories when I was a kid so I thought I'd do modern task of searching for his name on Internet. Of course there are hundreds of sites based on Pooh, but I decided to go to official site entitled: http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/animatedfilms/pooh/. Uh oh, Disney! Of course Disney didn't have rights on Pooh Bear from start, but where there is a dollar to be made in realm of children's entertainment...
I may sound a little judgmental here, but I just get a weird feeling about Disney, like they are planning to take over world one day, possibly replacing current governor of California, movie 'star' Arnold Swartzenegger, with Donald Duck or heaven help us, Goofy. Then again maybe that wouldn't really change world much at all! I don't want to get too political as this article is basically going to be a positive review of Pooh website, but when I think about it, having Pooh Bear as president instead of George Bush could have some really happy and peaceful repercussions around globe.
Getting past idea that Pooh Bear has been 'acquired' by Disney Corporation there are some positives in all situations (Taoist belief of balance of yin and yang energies) and one of these is fact that Disney have a lot of power and money behind them. Therefore, Pooh Bear website in question sets a very high standard of how high quality of websites can reach. The colored graphics are astounding as well as movement and interactivity of site in general. The main point of site that I want to emphasize is enjoyable educational value that it holds for children approximately 3-6 years of age, although after reading Hoff's novel, parents and people like myself can also get something out of stories. Milne's original tales were a social commentary at time of writing as well as promoting happiness and friendship to youngest generation. Hopefully in keeping in character, Disney doesn't lose too much of original purpose and perspective, though in being perpetually politically correct I'm sure all real controversy has disappeared like honey from Pooh Bear's jars.