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April 16, 2024
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 min read

Is SharePoint HIPAA Compliant?

Learn how Strac safeguards SharePoint against critical concerns such as data breaches, insider threats, and regulatory non-compliance

Is SharePoint HIPAA Compliant?
Calendar Icon White
April 16, 2024
Clock Icon
 min read

Is SharePoint HIPAA Compliant?

Learn how Strac safeguards SharePoint against critical concerns such as data breaches, insider threats, and regulatory non-compliance



  • SharePoint Compatibility with HIPAA: As standard, SharePoint does not comply with HIPAA standards for safeguarding Protected Health Information (PHI).
  • SharePoint HIPAA Configuration: SharePoint settings must be configured to bring the cloud-based service into compliance with HIPAA requirements.
  • Business Associate Agreement (BAA): Microsoft will sign a BAA with covered entities, including healthcare organizations, that covers the use of SharePoint when used with Office 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans.
  • Storing PHI in SharePoint: Presents significant compliance and data leak risks. SharePoint settings must be configured correctly, at all times, and employees must be trained on proper data security protocol.
  • Potential for PHI Leakage: Due to SharePoint being a cloud-based collaboration tool, there is potential for data leaks. This ever-present risk underscores the importance of additional Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions.
  • Strac SharePoint DLP: Offers scanning, detection, and redaction of sensitive data within SharePoint to ensure your use of the service is always compliant and secure.

Is SharePoint HIPAA Compliant?

In the healthcare industry, where patient confidentiality and data security are paramount, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient information. 

SharePoint is a web-based document management and storage platform owned by Microsoft. SharePoint integrates natively with Office and Microsoft 365 and is used by organizations to improve team collaboration, project management and other internal processes. 

As standard, SharePoint is not HIPAA compliant

To ensure the safe and compliant handling of Protected Health Information (PHI), healthcare organizations must ensure that SharePoint is configured specifically to comply with HIPAA standards. 

Will Microsoft Sign a BAA for SharePoint?

To comply with HIPAA, business associates must have a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in place with all organizations that are classified as HIPAA-covered entities.

Yes —Microsoft is willing to sign a BAA with healthcare organizations that covers the use of SharePoint

Microsoft’s BAA for Office 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Enterprise covers the use of SharePoint. This means that SharePoint users must have an Office 365 Enterprise or Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan. 

The BAA outlines Microsoft's responsibility in managing and protecting PHI, and brings the use of SharePoint into compliance with HIPAA.

However, signing a BAA with Microsoft does not ensure compliance. Healthcare organizations must also ensure their use of SharePoint remains compliant, at all times. This involves configuring SharePoint’s security settings, including applying strict access controls and sharing permissions. Employees must also be trained on data security protocol and how to handle sensitive data in a compliant manner.

Can You Store PHI or Patient Data in SharePoint?

Yes — it is possible to store Protected Health Information in SharePoint, but only when certain requirements are met.

Firstly, healthcare organizations planning on using SharePoint to handle and store PHI must have an Office 365 Enterprise or Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan and have signed a relevant BAA with Microsoft. 

Secondly, SharePoint settings must be configured in-line with HIPAA requirements. This includes enabling strict user access controls, activity monitoring functions, and conducting regular security assessments. 

Finally, healthcare organizations need to ensure their staff are trained on how to handle PHI and sensitive data, or risk non-compliance with HIPAA.

Improper handling of sensitive data and protected information within SharePoint can open your organization up to significant regulatory and litigation risks.

Sample PHI Document

Can PHI or Patient Data be Leaked from SharePoint?

Considering SharePoint’s popularity and the fact it is a cloud-based collaboration tool, without implementing additional security mechanisms, there will always be a risk of data leaks.

Although SharePoint has security features designed to protect against unauthorized access, data breaches, and other cyber risks, no system is completely invulnerable to leaks and external cyber threats. In fact, a company using SharePoint suffered a ransomware attack back in June 2023, where the attacker stole hundreds of files.

The potential for the leaking of sensitive data such as PHI will always exist. The Incorrect configuration of security settings can lead to unauthorized access, whilst user error can lead to an accidental leak. There is also the risk of malicious insider threats. 

As well as technical security protocol, your employees also play a crucial role in ensuring internal data security, especially when handling sensitive patient data.

This ever-present risk of data leaks sees many healthcare organizations adopt additional security mechanisms that not only ensure compliance, but effectively safeguard PHI against breaches and leaks.

Sharepoint Online

How Can Strac Prevent Data Leaks from SharePoint?

Strac SharePoint DLP is a comprehensive data leak prevention tool that adds an additional layer of security to SharePoint. 

SharePoint DLP ensures your use of SharePoint remains compliant through comprehensive real-time monitoring, automated data categorization, advanced redaction, intelligent alerts, and streamlined compliance management. 

All of this is delivered through a user-friendly interface tailored for organizational needs:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Strac's DLP solutions ensure adherence to compliance standards such as PCI, SOC 2, HIPAA, ISO-27001, CCPA, GDPR, and NIST.
  • Instantaneous Email Redactions: Leverage real-time interventions by Strac's DLP, identifying and mitigating SharePoint data vulnerabilities as they arise.
  • Comprehensive Audit Overviews: Document every SharePoint operation in detail. Strac simplifies audit logs for clear and accountable oversight.
  • Effortless Integration: Incorporate Strac with SharePoint effortlessly, for consistent and fortified data safeguarding.
  • Specialized Protection Across the Board: DLP solutions tailored for your distinct SharePoint environment, enhancing your data security profile.
  • AI Integration: Beyond standard SaaS, Cloud, and Endpoint protections, Strac seamlessly works with LLM APIs and AI platforms such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Microsoft Copilot, enhancing the security of AI or LLM applications and the data they process. Learn more through Strac's developer documentation.
  • Pioneering Data Security Intel: Stay abreast with Strac’s avant-garde insights on emerging data threats and potential weak points within SharePoint.
  • Detailed Control & Configuration: Customize your SharePoint safety protocols to your preferences. See Strac’s full catalog of sensitive data elements.
  • API Capabilities: Strac empowers developers with APIs for the detection and redaction of sensitive information. Access Strac’s API Docs.

To learn more about how Strac adds an extra layer of security and helps organizations comply with HIPAA regulations, see our guide to HIPAA Compliance.

Book a free 30-minute demo for more.

Founder, Strac. ex-Amazon Payments Infrastructure (Widget, API, Security) Builder for 11 years.

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