Does the Security Rule allow you to network computers? In other words, are covered entities allowed to connect two computer systems, either within the covered entity, or between two covered entities or between a covered entity and its business associate(s) so that they can exchange information directly?


With regard to networking computers, there is nothing in the Security Rule that prohibits the networking of computers, whether inside the same company, or between two unrelated companies who conduct business together. However, the covered entity must demonstrate that it has evaluated the risks associated with a network connection, and document that it has established all of the safeguards (technical, physical and administrative) that would serve to reasonably protect the information that is exchanged along the network. That will include an assessment of everything from the firewall to the designation and training of the individuals who have access to the data.

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 26, 2013