HIPAA Security Rule: Feb 2003 - AWS Audit Manager

HIPAA Security Rule: Feb 2003

AWS Audit Manager provides a prebuilt standard framework that supports the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule: Feb 2003.


For information about the HIPAA Final Omnibus Security Rule 2013 and the Audit Manager framework that supports this standard, see HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule.

What is HIPAA and the HIPAA Security Rule 2003?

HIPAA is legislation that helps US workers to retain health insurance coverage when they change or lose jobs. The legislation also seeks to encourage electronic health records to improve the efficiency and quality of the US healthcare system through improved information sharing.

Along with increasing the use of electronic medical records, HIPAA includes provisions to protect the security and privacy of protected health information (PHI). PHI includes a very wide set of personally identifiable health and health-related data. This includes insurance and billing information, diagnosis data, clinical care data, and lab results such as images and test results.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a final Security Rule in February 2003. This Rule sets national standards for protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information.

HIPAA rules apply to covered entities. These include hospitals, medical services providers, employer-sponsored health plans, research facilities, and insurance companies that deal directly with patients and patient data. The HIPAA requirement to protect PHI also extends to business associates.

For more information about how HIPAA and HITECH protect health information, see the Health Information Privacy webpage from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A growing number of healthcare providers, payers, and IT professionals are using AWS utility-based cloud services to process, store, and transmit protected health information (PHI). AWS enables covered entities and their business associates subject to HIPAA to use the secure AWS environment to process, maintain, and store protected health information.

For instructions on how you can use AWS for the processing and storage of health information, see the Architecting for HIPAA Security and Compliance on Amazon Web Services whitepaper.

Using this framework

You can use the HIPAA Security Rule 2003 framework to help you prepare for audits. This framework includes a prebuilt collection of controls with descriptions and testing procedures. These controls are grouped into control sets according to HIPAA requirements. You can also customize this framework and its controls to support internal audits with specific requirements.

Using the framework as a starting point, you can create an Audit Manager assessment and start collecting evidence that’s relevant for your audit. After you create an assessment, Audit Manager starts to assess your AWS resources. It does this based on the controls that are defined in the HIPAA framework. When it's time for an audit, you—or a delegate of your choice—can review the evidence that Audit Manager collected. Either, you can browse the evidence folders in your assessment and choose which evidence you want to include in your assessment report. Or, if you enabled evidence finder, you can search for specific evidence and export it in CSV format, or create an assessment report from your search results. Either way, you can use this assessment report to show that your controls are working as intended.

The framework details are as follows:

Framework name in AWS Audit Manager Number of automated controls Number of manual controls Number of control sets

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule: Feb 2003

45 40 5

To review the AWS Config rules that are used as data source mappings in this standard framework, download the AuditManager_ConfigDataSourceMappings_HIPAA-Security-Rule-Feb-2003.zip file.

The controls in this AWS Audit Manager framework aren't intended to verify if your systems are compliant with the HIPAA standard. Moreover, they can't guarantee that you'll pass a HIPAA audit. AWS Audit Manager doesn't automatically check procedural controls that require manual evidence collection.

You can find this framework under the Standard frameworks tab of the framework library in Audit Manager.

Next steps

For instructions on how to create an assessment using this framework, see Creating an assessment in AWS Audit Manager.

For instructions on how to customize this framework to support your specific requirements, see Making an editable copy of an existing framework in AWS Audit Manager.

Additional resources