Is Cloud Computing The Future of Healthcare Data Security?

Is cloud computing the future of healthcare data security?

Only a few years back, cloud computing was considered as an option that healthcare organizations can use to keep their data safe. Within these last few years, however cloud computing has overtaken any other option available for keeping healthcare data secure. Healthcare organizations can focus more on improving the quality of services that they are offering by outsourcing their data management to the right vendor. This will pave the way for these organizations to better utilize their human capital. When Microsoft came up with cloud computing options for healthcare organizations, it seemed difficult for these organizations to trust the option due to the sensitivity of their data. However, with further development of compliant means for storing sensitive data, healthcare organizations have come around. The option has become very attractive with all the benefits it offers but the biometric data security still has very high stakes. Misuse of healthcare data can prove to be fatal. The stakes in the storage of biometric healthcare are thus even higher than storage of financial data.

Security of Sensitive Data

Outsourcing biometric data storage is an easier option, but the questions about data security make it a tricky decision to take for the healthcare organizations. Further developments in cloud storage solutions have answered this concern for many of the organizations. Microsoft claims that their solutions have improved cyber-security a lot. Monitoring of these clouds is technically advanced. The point to note here however is that there are various cloud storage options available. Healthcare organizations must choose the vendor very carefully. The contracts for outsourcing must be very clear and well thought out. Field experts suggest that having healthcare data on the cloud is a safer option in comparison to having it on the premises. In-house team of any healthcare organization will be focused on many tasks along with data security whereas the outsourced solution will have its entire focus on data security only. Cyber attacks have become sophisticated over time, and cloud computing provides better safety against those malicious attacks too. However, not everyone agrees to this argument. Some professionals believe that if the healthcare organization is operating through ten facilities, the data on premises can be on ten different points. In case it is saved in a cloud, it will be all at one point making it more vulnerable for an attack. The risk thus remains in one way or the other.

Securing The Cloud

Risks in security as pointed out by professionals should be attended to before any healthcare organization moves towards using these clouds for data storage and security. First important element for the organization is to pick the right vendor. There are many options available in cloud computing. The healthcare organizations need to focus on security compliance elements. Once a suitable vendor is selected, it’s important for the organization to understand how the whole cloud security process works. They must not blindly rely on what the vendor is offering but should also add security criteria which suit them best. Avoiding infiltration and remaining compliant with HIPAA requirements is very important too. Cloud provider must not be able to use the organization’s data for their own purpose. In general, it is important to remember that cloud security is an ongoing process. Just like the developments in security of data, the threats to data security have also become stronger with time.

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