HIPAA Compliant Cloud Storage Explained

HIPAA-compliant cloud storage is necessary when using the cloud to store files. Healthcare providers are required to put specific security measures in place with regard to the protection of electronic HIPAA Compliant Hosting Providers (HCHPs) in order to maintain and distribute their healthcare data and information under the terms of the HIPAA, which was established in 1996, and the HITECH Act, which was established in 2009.

As varied are the HCHP options are the services they offer. While some HCHPs use managed servers to process healthcare data and information, others use cloud servers.

Data that is synced for many devices can be easily accessed thanks to the relatively new notion of “cloud computing” for data storage and modification.

HCHPs that assert to be HIPAA compliant have difficulties as a result of this kind of simple access to synchronized data. All business associates (BAs) of health care providers, including HCHPs, are required by the HIPAA to sign a BAA that states they would adhere to the regulations set out by the HIPAA.

HIPAA Compliant Cloud Storage Explained

There are concerns over the ability of HIPAA Compliant Cloud Storage providers to secure and protect data in accordance with the HIPAA requirements.

Since 2009, when a breach of healthcare information affects more than 500 people, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the HIPAA, has kept a list of those breaches.

In 2011, physical theft and the loss of tangible objects were the most frequent breaches cited (63%) incidents. The majority of the time, the compromise was brought on by someone working in the healthcare sector being careless or stealing.

The most prone to hacking were paper documents and portable equipment including hard discs, detachable drives, and laptops. Many claim that HIPAA Cloud Storage may be a secure substitute for on-premise data storage because cloud computing reduces the need to store health information on such equipment.

HIPAA Compliant Cloud Storage Explained

Preliminary Indications of Sources of Breach

Each of the seven kinds of breaches for electronic medical records (EMRs) that the HHS developed using data from 2011 entailed on-premise systems being compromised, such as when hard drives were lost or employees’ hard drives were stolen.

Even though negligence was the primary cause of the majority of breaches, HIPAA training and certification programmes may help to mitigate that susceptibility.

The types of physical devices that were identified as being most susceptible to compromise are not required for HIPAA Cloud Storage, although it was unclear what proportion of healthcare providers who had breaches used cloud storage techniques.

It is implied by the term “cloud storage” that data is kept on servers and accessed online.

According to data from 2011, just 6% of data breaches were caused by hacking or other forms of server or software manipulation, whereas 16% of all breaches were caused by unauthorized access or disclosure. Undoubtedly, the number of breaches will increase as more healthcare organizations shift their data storage to the cloud.

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