Whenever data breaches or breakdown of cloud system occur, concerning people assume that the cloud is an insecure way of keeping bulk of data. Propensity of cloud system for breach does not let companies to rely on this system for hyper sensitive data. Fact is that, each cloud is developed with some specific purposes. There are cloud systems that are developed to handle important and sensitive information only. If you assume cloud cannot protect sensitive data from breaches, the reality is far from your assumption. For data protection, it is ridiculous to avoid the cloud; in fact, it is a matter of searching the right cloud to meet your needs.
You may have some know how about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); if not, you must be familiar with the word HIPAA. Basically, HIPAA is a sequence of codes that are responsible for formation, transmission as well as access of ePHI (electronic protected health information). Basic purpose of HIPAA is to keep important information of patients safe. As far as HIPAA compliance is concerned, healthcare providers are required to check data protection system and cloud is considered as fast and affordable method to address specific needs. For an IT provider, it is necessary to understand HIPAA requirements if they plan to serve the healthcare industry.
Protection & Access
It is simple to keep copies of data and transfer duplicate data to the cloud. The question arises, how valuable information will be protected from data breaches? What are the safety measures to keep information safe offline? Covered entities are liable to restrict physical access and make sure that information is encrypted in motion and at rest. It is absurd to think all clouds give same functionality. Always search for a provider that permits to encrypt information onsite. Data center selected for the protection of ePHI must give digital, as well as, physical safeguards to avoid unauthorized access.
System for Backup and Data Recovery
According to CFR 164.308, all covered entities must have backup, as well as, recovery plan in case of a disaster. In this regard, the cloud gives an advantage in the form of data protection, as offsite backup data is easy to recover when something unexpected happens with the onsite data backups. Additionally, many clouds are developed for fast recovery that is the foremost requirement of HIPAA. In addition to data backup, covered entities must be able to function in emergency conditions. For healthcare providers, it is highly beneficial to select a cloud designed to perform various functions to cover issues, such as data breaches, disaster recovery, and business continuity.
In short, the cloud is a perfect way to cover various features of HIPAA; however, it cannot deal with all aspects of data protection. For some people, HIPAA is more than a mess. In reality, it is nothing more than a set of safekeeping standards. For MSPs and VARs, it is essential to have in-depth knowledge of HIPAA before giving invincible service to the healthcare industry.