Author: Derek Wiedenhoeft

Is It Possible to Protect PHI in the Cloud?

 Is It Possible to Protect PHI in the Cloud?

Protecting ePHI in the cloud

The number of organizations adopting virtualized environments continues to grow in many industries, including health care[I]. Virtualization enables network flexibility that most healthcare organizations could benefit from, but many are held back by a lack of clarity about what virtualization is, and how it relates to HIPAA cloud.

A virtual environment is one in which a software layer, called a “hypervisor,” has been added to a physical server.  An operating system can then be loaded onto the hypervisor layer to create a “virtual machine” (VM), which is a software-defined server, and as such can do some things not possible with physical, hardware-dependent servers.  The hypervisor layer can determine the precise size and location of the server VMs or “instances” loaded onto it since it provides separation from the physical limitations of each piece of hardware.  As we will explore below, this can benefit organizations through increased agility and automation.

HIPAA compliance can be particularly scary for organizations, due to the implications of a breach of security inherent in health care, the complexity of the regulations, and the severity of potential fines.  Timely access to medical information can be a matter of life and death, but ensuring that information is accessible, portable, and renewable only covers Title I of the Act.  Title II, covering health care fraud and abuse, along with the enforcement-strengthening HITECH Act[II], imposes security and privacy rules on health care providers and the companies that support them. Compliance failures can result in fines of up to $1.5 million[III], and data breaches, which are increasingly common in healthcare[IV], can be even more expensive, particularly when reputational harm is considered.

Fortunately, virtualized environments can not only be HIPAA Compliant quickly but can make compliance easier.

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Comparison: Amazon AWS vs. Atlantic.Net

Derek Wiedenhoeft October 28, 2017 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments

 

Who you choose to be your Cloud provider is a critical decision that can affect the success of your business. Atlantic.Net offers great, affordable Cloud Hosting solutions for businesses of any size. We’re certain that after you see how we compare with Amazon AWS and the benefits we bring, like customized setup, hybrid solutions, and all-star support, that the decision will be clear.

 

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Encryption in the Atlantic.Net Cloud Platform

Derek Wiedenhoeft October 25, 2017 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments

The Atlantic.Net Cloud Platform encrypts customer data stored at rest by default with no additional action required by the customer. This is accomplished through industry standardized encryption mechanisms.

Atlantic.Net believes encryption of customer’s data at rest shouldn’t be an optional feature and is now a requirement of all computing. That’s why our world-class encryption is implemented in a transparent manner, with no further need for configuration by the user.

Key Features
  • Data is automatically encrypted prior to being written to the disk.
  • Data is encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard 256-bit (AES-256). This encryption standard is the only publicly accessible encryption cipher approved by the National Security Agency (NSA) for top secret information.
  • Each encryption key used to encrypt data is itself encrypted with a set of master keys.

Note: Encryption of data stored at rest is an important part of a broader data security strategy and
should not be considered the only mechanism for securing data.

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Content Delivery Networks – What They Are and Why They’re Powerful

One of the most important factors impacting web performance has nothing to do with the technology itself, but where it sits on the planet. Greater physical distance between a server and client (the user) can slow down the rate and reliability of even the most performant service. Content delivery networks (CDNs), seek to solve this issue by getting the servers closer to the site visitors, customizing the delivery to suit individualized worldwide position. A content delivery network is a vast collection of cache servers that leverage geolocation to determine where a website’s content is delivered from.

Reducing latency is one of the most important reasons that content delivery networks are used. The closer the data is to the end-user, the faster it can be sent to them. For services that depend on real-time, continuous data on a global scale, CDNs are critical.

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Bandwidth Concerns: Finding E-commerce Hosting Solutions as a Small Business Owner

Derek Wiedenhoeft September 30, 2017 by under PCI Hosting 0 Comments

Of all the important steps that need to be taken in order to successfully run a small business, it may be the backend operations that are the most confounding. That’s because all web hosting isn’t the same. Depending on the specific kind of website and business you are developing, you’ll have certain requirements that need to be met by your hosting provider in order to achieve the performance levels you need to be successful and to meet any regulatory rules that might exist in your industry.

There are some features that are a must have if you’re looking to launch an e-commerce based business. By following some simple guidelines during your search, you can quickly narrow down the list of viable hosting solution candidates. Dedicated hosting with managed services or managed cloud hosting can cover most of your needs, but let’s explore why they make the most sense for your e-commerce business.

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What is a DDoS and how do we prevent our business from being attacked?

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have been happening for years, but have become steadily more prominent among enterprise IT considerations. This is in large part due to the increasing amount of damage inflicted by DDoS attacks, which is caused by both the increasing power and sophistication of the attacks, and also the critical importance of IT systems availability to enterprises.

A DDoS attack is a coordinated flood of traffic or data sent from many computers and internet connections to a single destination system in order to overwhelm it. The attack can be made against different parts or “levels” of the network, taking up all of the connections, bandwidth, or processing power available. DDoS attacks can cause a general system failure or take down a certain application or service.

There are approximately 2,000 DDoS attacks every day, according to Arbor Networks, and research suggests that roughly one in three downtime incidents are caused by them. The cost of that downtime is severe, but the cost of restoring system functionality can be even higher. Additionally, there are indirect costs, such as to reputation, and lost staff time. The Ponemon Institute estimates that the average cost per incident, not including reputational damage, is over $125,000.

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I Need a Web Hosting Solution for My Small Business. How Do I Choose?

You’ve just started your own business and things are going well. Most likely, you’ve been growing steadily at the local level. This means most of your success has been thanks to word of mouth, existing networks, and direct orders of your product or service. This is relatively sustainable for the short term, but there inevitably comes a time where you exhaust these local networks and need to move on into new markets where you may not already have a foothold.

In the age of an overwhelmingly digital focused economy, gaining these footholds and reaching untapped audiences means developing a web presence. In 2017, it isn’t news to business owners that it’s very difficult, if not almost impossible, to succeed without a web presence of some kind. Staying competitive, reaching consumers who do their research primarily online, and advertising is just some of the reasons why executives agree that every small business needs a website.

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Safety in Redundancy: Why It’s Important to Have Multiple Backups

Derek Wiedenhoeft August 3, 2017 by under PCI Hosting 0 Comments

Everyone is familiar with the idiom, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” It’s a good general rule to operate under, and that is certainly the case when it comes to the safety of your data. Whether it’s the files that make up your website or a database with sensitive information, it’s critical to your operations that there is always some way to restore your data so that you don’t suffer from excessive downtime, or worse, be noncompliant with certain regulatory agencies depending on the industry you operate in. Yes, your backup solutions, or lack thereof, could be putting you at risk of being in violation of some laws.

If your business operates within the healthcare industry and creates electronic medical records, there are specific requirements in place regarding not only the storage of EMRs but also where you back up these records. These requirements can be found in the HIPAA Security Final Rule: the Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Specifications. There are certain backup elements that must meet contingency plan standards.

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Security Penetration Testing: What It Is and Why You Need It

If your bank is requiring your company to perform a penetration test as part of your PCI compliance, you’re not alone. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) are now requiring penetration testing (or pen tests) for all organizations that accept credit card payments. It’s an added way to ensure the security of credit card transactions and associated storage practices.

So what, exactly, is penetration testing? It’s a way to test your system’s security by trying to exploit its weaknesses. In the same way that the Federal Reserve requires FDIC-insured banks to undergo stress tests, penetration tests are safe methods of attempting to identify security weaknesses in your systems.  As the saying goes, one of the best ways to help protect against hacks into your systems is for someone you trust to try hacking into your systems. This will allow you to rectify security issues before they can be exploited by unauthorized individuals.

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