What Are The Difference Between HIPAA And PCI Compliances?

hipaa vs pci

In the world of data security, two important compliance standards stand out: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Both HIPAA and PCI DSS aim to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, but they have different requirements and focus on different types of data. In this blog post, we will explore the similarities and differences between HIPAA and PCI DSS, and provide insights into how these standards impact businesses that handle protected health information (PHI) or payment card data.

What Is HIPAA And PCI Compliance?

What Is HIPAA And PCI Compliance

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) are both compliance standards that aim to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. HIPAA is a federal law that regulates the use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI) by healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. The law sets standards for the privacy and security of PHI and requires covered entities to implement technical, administrative, and physical safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI.

PCI DSS, on the other hand, is a set of security standards established by major credit card companies, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB. The standards apply to any organization that accepts credit card payments and require businesses to implement specific security measures to protect cardholder data from theft or fraud. These measures include encryption of cardholder data, secure storage of sensitive information, regular vulnerability scans, and employee training on data security.

Who Needs To Comply With PCI And HIPAA?

HIPAA compliance is mandatory for covered entities that handle protected health information (PHI), including healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. Additionally, business associates of covered entities, such as contractors, subcontractors, and other entities that perform services involving PHI, are also required to comply with HIPAA regulations.

PCI compliance is mandatory for any organization that accepts credit card payments, regardless of size or industry. This includes merchants, service providers, and financial institutions. The PCI Security Standards Council, a global organization responsible for managing the PCI DSS, oversees the enforcement of the standards.

Benefits Of HIPAA And PCI Compliant

Here are some benefits of HIPAA and PCI compliance:

  • Protection of sensitive information: Firstly, HIPAA and PCI compliance help protect sensitive information from theft, fraud, and misuse. Compliance with these regulations ensures that businesses follow specific security measures to safeguard sensitive information from unauthorized access.
  • Increased trust and credibility: Secondly, HIPAA and PCI compliance demonstrates a business’s commitment to protecting customer data, which can enhance trust and credibility with customers. Customers are more likely to trust businesses that take data security seriously and are compliant with industry regulations.
  • Avoidance of legal and financial penalties: Non-compliance with HIPAA and PCI regulations can result in severe legal and financial penalties. By complying with these regulations, businesses can avoid costly fines and legal fees.
  • Enhanced reputation: Being HIPAA and PCI-compliant can also enhance a business’s reputation. Compliant businesses can demonstrate their commitment to data security, which can lead to positive word-of-mouth and increased customer loyalty.
  • Improved efficiency: HIPAA and PCI compliance often involve implementing streamlined processes and procedures for handling sensitive information. By following these guidelines, businesses can improve efficiency and reduce the risk of errors or data breaches.

In summary, HIPAA and PCI compliance can offer numerous benefits for businesses, including protecting sensitive information, increasing trust and credibility with customers, avoiding legal and financial penalties, enhancing reputation, and improving efficiency.

Requirements Of Compliance With PCI And HIPAA

The requirements for compliance with PCI DSS and HIPAA vary, as they are designed to address different types of sensitive data. Here is a brief overview of the main requirements for each standard:

PCI DSS Requirements

  • Install and maintain a secure network.
  • Protect cardholder data with encryption and secure storage.
  • Implement strong access control measures, including restricting access to cardholder data.
  • Regularly monitor and test networks for vulnerabilities.
  • Maintain a comprehensive information security policy and provide training to employees.

HIPAA Requirements

  • Implement policies and procedures to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI.
  • Implement technical safeguards, such as access controls, encryption, and auditing.
  • Implement administrative safeguards, such as workforce training, security management, and incident response planning.
  • Implement physical safeguards, such as secure facilities, workstation security, and device and media controls.
  • Perform periodic risk assessments and develop a risk management plan to address identified vulnerabilities.

Both HIPAA and PCI DSS require ongoing compliance, with regular risk assessments and monitoring to ensure that security measures remain effective over time.

Overall, it is important to note that the specific requirements for compliance with HIPAA and PCI DSS can vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization, as well as the specific nature of the data being protected. Therefore, it is crucial to seek guidance from legal and technical experts to ensure that all necessary requirements are being met.

Penalties For Violations of HIPAA And PCI Rules

Penalties For Violations of HIPAA And PCI Rules

HIPAA is a US law that governs the privacy and security of sensitive health information. Violations of HIPAA can result in severe penalties, including fines and even imprisonment. The penalties depend on the severity of the violation, with fines ranging from $100 to $50,000 per violation, up to a maximum of $1.5 million per year for each type of violation. Imprisonment can be up to 10 years in some cases.

PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is a set of guidelines that dictate the security measures that businesses must take to protect credit card information. PCI compliance violations can result in hefty fines from payment card companies, which can range from $5,000 to $100,000 per month, depending on the level of non-compliance. In addition, businesses that fail to comply with PCI-DSS may face increased credit card processing fees, legal fees, and loss of reputation.

Above all, it’s important to note that both HIPAA and PCI compliance violations can have serious consequences for businesses and individuals. To avoid these penalties, it’s essential to ensure that your business complies with all applicable regulations and takes appropriate security measures to protect sensitive information.


In conclusion, HIPAA and PCI compliance are important regulations that help protect sensitive information, such as medical records and credit card information. Compliance with these regulations offers several benefits for businesses, including protection of sensitive information, increased trust and credibility with customers, avoidance of legal and financial penalties, enhanced reputation, and improved efficiency. If you are looking to implement any of the Infosec compliance frameworks such as SOC 2 complianceHIPAAISO 27001, and GDPR compliance, Impanix can help. Book a Free consultation call with our experts or email us at  [email protected] for inquiries.