This entry is part 14 of 26 in the series HIPAA Privacy-Security Reminders

ANOTHER … DON’T DO IT!  Millions of people use free Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing programs – software to swap music, video and other files over the Internet.  SO, what’s the big deal?  Learn more about what you and your company should NOT be doing…

In Cyber Security Tip ST05-007, the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) discusses the risks introduced by P2P applications.

Popular P2P applications include Shareaza, BitTorrent, Ares, BearShare, Kazaa and eMule.

Warning: P2P can make files on your computer available to potentially millions of users.

Sharing copyrighted material over a P2P network may result in legal action against both the user and your company.

P2P applications may also serve as an entry point for computer viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and other malicious software. These scenarios are especially dangerous if your computer contains or accesses systems containing sensitive information such as electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI).

Never install P2P applications on your company computer without the explicit approval or authorization of your HIPAA Security Official. If you have any of these programs installed, you should probably uninstall any unauthorized P2P applications immediately.

When in doubt, contact your System Administrator or HIPAA Security Official to find out your requirements under your Peer-to-Peer Policy at your company.

The complete HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach regulations are here.

Contact us for more information or to learn about a tailored Clearwater HIPAA Audit Prep WorkShop™ or the Clearwater HIPAA Audit Prep BootCamp™ series.

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The complete HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach regulations are here.

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Bob Chaput

CEO at Clearwater Compliance
Bob is the CEO and Founder of Clearwater Compliance. He has 25 years of experience in the Healthcare industry, and his experience includes managing some of the world’s largest HR, benefits and healthcare databases, requiring the highest levels of security and privacy. Mr. Chaput continues to expand and update his knowledge base on HIPAA-HITECH compliance through postgraduate study, earning professional certifications and participating in professional healthcare and other organizations.