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Cloud storage security considerations for health care providers
This article is part of the Health IT issue of September 2011
When it comes to the storage of health care data, security is arguably the biggest concern. Although many businesses question cloud storage security, the truth is that most reputable cloud service providers actually have better security than the average health care data center. Even so, it's important for any health care organization that is considering storing data off-site to examine how the cloud service provider's security measures up to HIPAA requirements. Cloud storage security falls into a gray area when it comes to HIPAA compliance. The federal government sets up very specific guidelines for which organizations are and are not required to be HIPAA compliant. Our series on cloud storage security Health care, cloud storage providers and data ownership Cloud storage security considerations for health care providers Negotiating maximum cloud uptime from service providers Under the original legislation in 1996, the only types of organizations required to adhere to HIPAA regulations are the following: A health care provider ...
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Before a health care organization contracts with a cloud storage provider, both sides must settle the thorny issues of data ownership, possession, backup and retrieval.
Cloud storage is a viable option for health care entities, but they must address HIPAA compliance, risk assessment and data encryption before contracting with a service provider.
Uptime issues with health care cloud services can lead to HIPAA compliance issues, not to mention lawsuits. To avoid problems, be firm when negotiating service agreements.