HIPAA Compliant Cloud Storage

Top 10 Considerations for HIPAA-Compliant File Transfer

While HIPAA law is broad, at its core is the Security Rule, the full name for which is the Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information. The Security Rule applies the rights that are conveyed by the Privacy Rule – i.e., the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information – within digital environments. In order to achieve this aim, the Security Rule requires administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. These three categories of defenses are critical to ensuring HIPAA-compliant file transfer. Specific elements of these types of Security Rule protections include these ten key healthcare file transfer considerations:

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Microsoft OneDrive for Business or Google Drive for HIPAA Compliance?

File sharing is crucial to the ability to leverage the cloud and to safeguard files while controlling and sharing them. It also makes it possible for your personnel to be able to get to their files wherever they are.

For healthcare organizations looking to adopt a file sharing service, the most important consideration is to select a service that prioritizes the security that is necessary to deliver HIPAA compliance. Two of the prominent file sharing options for general storage are Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Google Drive. However, when using a third party to file sharing for your healthcare organization, it means that you are placing trust in a business associate to protect highly confidential and sensitive patient data – you need to be able to maintain HIPAA compliance.

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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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How Secure is the Cloud?

Organizations migrating to a new IT environment, such as the Cloud, should always give serious consideration to the security of that environment. But how secure is the Cloud? If you don’t know exactly what piece of hardware your private data is found on at a given time, how do you know it is secure?

For those relatively new to Cloud, the first thing to be aware of is that while some of the tools and methods used to secure a network and data in the Cloud are different, the basic principles are the same as for any other environment. The next thing to know is that because the Cloud runs in data centers staffed by experts in Cloud services, data stored in the Cloud is “probably more secure than conventionally stored data,” according to Quentin Hardy, former Deputy Technology Editor of the New York Times[i].

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Secure Block Storage (SBS) 50 GB Free for One Year!

Block Storage Header

Secure Block Storage – Easy to use, highly redundant, available, scalable, and secure additional storage.

We are excited to announce the release of Secure Block Storage, enabling you to easily attach additional storage to your cloud servers to scale workloads more easily.  Designed for 99.999% availability, SBS volumes are automatically replicated multiple times to protect your data from component failure. With SBS, storage can be increased on-the-fly and moved between your Cloud Servers within the same region. Additionally, SBS volumes are automatically encrypted at rest and connected to your Cloud Servers over an isolated storage network to ensure a secure environment for your data.  To help you get started using SBS, we are offering 50 GB of SBS free through June 14, 2019, for existing customers and one year from the date of signup for new customers. You can increase the space of SBS volumes for an additional 7.9 cents per GB per month.

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Encryption in the Atlantic.Net Cloud Platform

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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Why One CIO is Pleased with the Cloud

Like many other top IT executives in the public and private sectors, a CIO at the National Institutes of Health, Alastair Thomson, is guiding his agency’s staff toward the cloud.

  • Science is Getting Bigger
  • Big Data Fueling Push toward Cloud at NHLBI
  • The Power of Invisibility
  • Hello, I’m Available
  • Security as a Priority

Science is Getting Bigger

Science is ballooning. According to two bibliometric researchers, Ruediger Mutz of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Lutz Bornmann of Germany’s Max Planck Society, the amount of published science is growing at 8-9% per year. “That equates to a doubling of global scientific output roughly every nine years,” explains the British journal Nature. “Bornmann and Mutz find that global scientific output has probably kept up this dizzying rate of increase since the end of World War II.”

Publication is of course not the only way science is growing, as CIOs at science-oriented organizations are reminded on an everyday basis by the scope of their projects. The data used for research used to be discussed in terms of megabytes, then gigabytes. Today, it’s typical for a project to be working at the level of terabytes or petabytes.

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Is Cloud Hosting the Future of Business?

It’s often difficult to tell if a technology is really taking hold, or if news of its trendiness is mostly industry chatter of businesses that are invested and trying to sell their biased perspective. Is cloud the future, or is it just hype?

  • What is Cloud Computing or Cloud Hosting?
  • How Fast is the Rise of Cloud, Especially IaaS?
  • Pros & Cons of Cloud
  • Strong Cloud Hosting for Your Business

When you search for “cloud computing” on Google, you get 74 million results. Compare that to “dedicated server,” which has only 569,000 results. That gives you a sense of the massiveness of this tech concept. Of course the cloud transcends the datacenter to be a major topic in consumer computing, such as iCloud storage, as well.

To what extent, though, does cloud go beyond being a trend? Is cloud hosting the future of business? Let’s look at what cloud computing is; forecasts on its growth; and pros and cons of this form of computing.

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5 Ways Cloud Big Data Solves Business Challenges

Over the first half of this decade, big data grew massively in business. During the second half of the decade, we’re seeing a global migration of big data to the cloud. Here is why that transition is happening.

  • The Early Days of Big Data
  • Why are cloud data analytics now pivotal?
  • #1 Argument – More open-source-friendly
  • #2 Argument – Strong focus on ease-of-use
  • #3 Argument – Collaborative approach to analytic challenges
  • #4 Argument – Cloud a good place to assess cloud
  • #5 Argument – Most reasonable location for data pipeline
  • Onward & Upward

The Early Days of Big Data

Every company likes the basic idea of using big data to their advantage. That’s why there has been such a surge to adopt tools to do so. Look back a half-decade ago, and we see enterprises from retail to insurance to telecom all taking forward steps with these initiatives. Those were essentially the early days on the big data frontier. The experiences of those firms, and the developing services of their providers, bolstered the understanding of big data and how companies can work through obstacles.

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