It’s important for executives to get involved with their organization’s information security program, particularly concerning the legalities of the situation. Here are 3 key terms that executives need to know to better understand cybersecurity risks.

While many senior executives in the healthcare industry view cybersecurity risks as a compliance or IT issue, the reality is that the fallout of a cybersecurity incident has much further-reaching business consequences. These risks pertain to patient safety, quality of care, business reputation and overall customer experience.


Information security experts within an organization work hard to prevent these incidents from happening, but they can’t do it without the full support of business leaders. Executives can make a major difference simply by being more involved.

Not only is this in the best interests of the organization, but being educated about cybersecurity risks and preventative measures is now a job requirement, as individuals as being held accountable for breaches.

3 Terms for C-Suite Executives to Know:

  1. Reasonable Diligence: This term essentially means that the representative will devote a proper level of attention and care to fulfill all necessary obligations for a client. When a data breach occurs, executives will do their part to rectify the situation and protect covered entities against legal impact.
  1. Reasonable Cause: This term refers to a standard of proof that prompts an executive to act. It’s discovered when an act or omission violates an administrative simplification provision. This term is important because it shows that the executive did not act with willful neglect but was responding to a certain understanding or belief about a situation.
  1. Willful Neglect: This term refers to a conscious and intentional failure or reckless indifference to comply with the administrative simplification provision that was violated. No healthcare company wants to be charged with willful neglect, which is why it’s so important to remember. Willful neglect leads to some of the most serious data breaches and legal implications in the healthcare industry.

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Clearwater Compliance

Clearwater Compliance helps healthcare organizations ensure patient safety and improve the quality of care by safeguarding the confidentiality, integrity and availability of protected health information (PHI).

We have assisted more than 400 customers to operationalize and mature their information privacy, security, compliance and information risk management programs. And in the process, we are raising the bar for safeguarding PHI, protecting millions of Americans and driving real value for the organizations we support and the healthcare industry at large.