How To Reduce Risks In Cloud Computing

How To Reduce Risks In Cloud Computing

Healthcare IT News survey results released recently show that 48% of respondents plan to include cloud computing in their IT projects, while 33% have already done so. However, the survey also found that 19% of respondents had no plans at all regarding cloud computing. The co-founder and president of ID Experts, Rick Kam, has a reason for this: security. The 19% of total respondents fear that cloud computing is not secure enough for their data.

For health care institutions, entities, and providers in particular, it is data security that is of utmost importance, because these organizations must protect health information. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act as well as Federal HITECH, health care organizations are responsible for the protection of health information in the cloud.

However, all is not lost for these health care organizations, because it is possible to reduce the risks associated with cloud computing as follows:

  • When tapping the services of a cloud computing provider, a health care entity must fully review the terms and conditions of the Service Level Agreement so that the entity’s risks and liabilities are fully understood. As such, the health care entity must accept that such risks must be fully absorbed by the organization.
  • Once operational, the health care organization must limit access to the cloud computing system. However, small health care entities may have to make do with whatever cloud computing service they can afford. These entities may not be able to limit access; their data and applications may be hosted in the public cloud because it is a lot cheaper than a private cloud.
  • Before signing on the dotted line, the cloud computing applications must be researched fully, because there are federal laws which limit access to protect health information to the very minimum. Only authenticated and authorized users must be able to access the cloud computing applications and there must be a log so that IT can audit each individual instance of access. However, not all applications have this feature; so, it is the primary responsibility of the health care institution to do its homework before acquiring cloud computing applications. Also, the cloud computing application must be designed for interoperability and data must be securely and smoothly moved between software applications which somehow expose health care information to certain risks. Therefore, protocols and standards for interoperability must be developed. When a health care institution procures a cloud computing service, it must ensure that the interoperability feature is present in the application.
  • A small health care organization must ask for third-party validation when taking advantage of a cloud computing application. It can ask its cloud computing provider to present a certification from a medical organization or association confirming that its cloud computing application meets the HIPAA and HITECH security requirements.
  • The health care entity must keep an inventory of the organization’s protected health information and personally identifiable information. This way, it can regulate the way it disposes, stores, uses, and collects the entity’s protected health information, because the said inventory can make known any data breach risks. A health care organization will then be able to plan its security measures so as to reduce the risk of a data breach.
  • The health care organization must create a cost-efficient and effective incident response plan which will help the entity meet the HITECH and HIPAA requirements alongside creating guidelines in case a data breach occurs. The plan assigns roles and offers guidelines, as well as the response team’s actions and responsibilities when a security breach occurs, and offers instructions on how to determine notification requirements, especially to the regulatory authorities.

By Florence de Borja

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Governance, Risk and Compliance Businesses are under pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving regulations and security threats. In the face of such challenges they strive to perform better, be leaner, cut costs and be more efficient. Effective governance, risk and compliance (GRC) can help preserve the business’ corporate integrity and protect the brand,…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…