Charity and Security Begin at Home
By Gil Vidals, , HIPAA Blog

It’s a debated idea in our national discourse lately, and believe it or not, there’s a parallel to cybersecurity. The charity debate (as we’ll call it) comes as a question of priorities; should we only look after ourselves and our own, and let it end there?

With no political agenda here, we can say that If one truly understands charity toward fellow man – especially in its supreme expression in the “Golden Rule” – the answer would clearly be “no.” Both family and fellow man are important and should be valued.

Properly understood, “charity begins at home” means that ideally, we learn charity first in the home, among our family; in other words, charity is expressed in our immediate culture first. It’s a good picture, and we might also say the same about security.

To really strengthen security, we must not only address the external threats (secure our networks with the latest encryption protocols, be aware of targeted attacks, etc.) we must also establish a “culture of security” among our own staff.

This means security must be expressed in everyday actions and patterns, and not just in words. It must be tangible.

We’ll speak more about this in future posts, but for now, we must understand that becoming security conscious and establishing appropriate security practices among your staff (securing your workstation, using two-factor authentication, etc.) can actually be a form of charity: it’s a way of caring for the company you work for, and the customer data (real people) with whom you’ve been entrusted.

So while blocking the external threats that will continue to come, ask yourself how you’re doing creating a wise and willing security culture, among your own people, “at home.” HIPAA compliance depends on it.