SSAE 18 SOC 1 SOC 2 (formerly SSAE 16) Certified, HIPAA and HITECH Audited
HIPAA Compliant Hosting by Atlantic.Net™ is SSAE 18, SOC 1, SOC 2 certified, HIPAA and HITECH audited, designed to secure and protect critical healthcare data and records. Our HIPAA Hosting Solutions have been audited by a qualified independent third party auditing firm, which demonstrates our commitment to providing the best IT security and top notch compliance solutions. Whether you're looking for a comprehensive managed hosting solution for your HIPAA servers or an unmanaged hosting service, we can assist you with all your HIPAA compliance hosting needs. Our high-performance HIPAA web, database and storage servers are available in both dedicated and cloud environments and backed by our 100% uptime guarantee.
The core considerations of HIPAA for any companies working with electronic medical records are privacy and security. The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Security Rule are what you need to be concerned with if you are getting certified (unless you are a health insurance company or similarly provide healthcare plans), and they are the same HIPAA-Compliant hosting requirements you should consider in a web hosting company.
Below is an 8-part checklist of HIPAA Compliant Hosting requirements.
Despite being simple, it covers all the standard bases with enough detail for a general picture of what you need. Here are the eight elements you need for a HIPAA-Compliant hosting environment:
Essentially, you need to have firewalls fully implemented on your site. There are three basic types of firewalls: hardware firewalls, software firewalls, and web application firewalls (WAFs). Typically, an infrastructure has a combination of hardware and software firewalls, along with ones specifically designed for web applications, because apps create their own unique challenges and have become such a frequent target for intrusions. Making sure that technology is system-wide is one of the HIPAA compliant server requirements.
What is a firewall?
Firewall is actually a kind of broad term. It refers to a hardware or software system (i.e., physical component or an app) that is used to secure a network, via a set of rules that control the traffic that’s entering and exiting it.
The hardware/software distinction is just one way to categorize firewalls, though. As indicated in the US Department of Commerce’s NIST firewall guidelines (Special Publication 800-41), and as expanded by TechTarget, five primary types of firewalls are application-level gateways (proxies), circuit-level gateways, multilayer inspection firewalls, packet-filtering firewalls, and stateful inspection firewalls.
The VPN needs to be encrypted, and you want it to be strong. Not all VPNs are the same, so do your homework.
What is an encrypted VPN?
An encrypted VPN is technology that essentially creates a tunnel between two devices (typically the server and the client). The data is encrypted entering the tunnel and decrypted as it exits it.
There are a couple of standard encryption protocols for VPNs other than SSL, IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) and GRE (generic routing encapsulation). GRE gives you a framework with which you’re able to package and transport via IP.
You want to have your data backed up in an external location. This requirement is a reasonable way to ensure all the EMRs are safe. Note how many of these requirements are probably already in place for your company. Very little is required additionally to the security parameters that most enterprises and many SMBs already have up and running. Again, hosting services must meet this and the other HIPAA compliant hosting requirements as well.
What are offsite backups?
Offsite backups are a security tactic and disaster recovery technique that means data, and in some cases software, is being stored at a remote location from the company. Offsite backups are also called offsite data backups or offsite data protection – albeit, the latter really denoting the safeguards of the external environment. Offsite backups are simply a distribution or diversification method to prevent total loss of your valuable ePHI (electronic protected health information).
On all parts of your site (from the administrative control panel associated with the server to your CMS to the operating system running throughout the network), you need MFA ( multifactor authentication). Multifactor authentication is simple and fast to establish, similar to the other HIPAA compliant server requirements. You just go into the control panels for each of your various systems and make the configuration changes. Be aware that you need to get everyone prepared for this change so your business continuity is intact: everyone should be able to access the system throughout. You just need everyone’s phone numbers if you’re using mobile as the second point of contact. Plus, make sure they have an MFA app installed before making the transition if you are using an authenticator tool. Many of the systems you’ll see will be based on Google Authenticator, which will require everyone to have that app installed on their cell phones; though there are plenty of other brands you can choose.
What is MFA?
Multifactor authentication, which goes by MFA, is a security check that uses two different forms of authentication to confirm the identity of the user. MFA is a stronger evolution of SFA (single-factor authentication), which only authenticates in one manner, usually via a password matching the username provided.
You cannot have a platform that shares resources with any other entities if you want to achieve HIPAA compliant server requirements. Working with a hosting provider with experience related to properly privatizing your infrastructure obviously helps.
What is a private hosted environment?
What's meant by a private hosted environment is your servers are reserved solely for your use. That’s the key point and refers to Atlantic.Net’s Cloud Hosting or dedicated hosting servers.
In a private hosted environment, the data is all in its own place, so it is not being shared or intermingled with the information of other apps or hosting users.
Atlantic.Net trusts and utilizes DUO for Multifactor authentication.
You need secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates established throughout your site, for any domains and subdomains on which sensitive information is accessed. In other words, any parts of your site that need login credentials should always also have an SSL. Each server used for your site needs its own SSL certificate installed. Note that some companies provide certificates that can be installed on multiple or unlimited servers. Also, be aware that an EV certificate, creating a green address bar, and/or respected brand name such as Norton or GeoTrust, can help increase trust and credibility for your system. Less costly certificates can be purchased from Comodo, GoDaddy, etc.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate is software that creates encryption of data during transmission and validates ownership of the certificate to varying degrees.
Groups called certification authorities (CA’s), which typically have very high reputations for security, issue these certificates.
SSL certificates come in three main levels of validation: domain validation (DV), organization validation (OV), and extended validation (EV). All certs create https protocol and a lock icon, along with brief information available to all web users. EV is represented by the green address bar indicators in all major browsers. SAN certificates and wildcards certs are other types.
Note that Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) 18, created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), is more stringent, in some ways, than HIPAA is regarding security. It’s not a requirement for HIPAA, but seeing that certification should make you feel more confident that a company meets HIPAA compliant hosting requirements.
What is SSAE 18 Certification?
SSAE 18 certification entails an official review and audit that verifies you are meeting all parameters of Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16, a standard developed by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) via its ASB (Auditing Standards Board).
This standard provides guidance on best practices through which organizations can report on their compliance control, as gauged through a formal audit.
In addition, HIPAA and HITECH Audits are also growing. Here at Atlantic.Net, our infrastructure is not only SSAE 18 SOC 1 and SOC 2 certified but also fully audited for HIPAA and HITECH compliance. These audits are conducted on an annual basis through a third party independent auditor, who verify and attest to controls, checks and balances of the infrastructure, as it relates to logical and physical controls and security.
If you use any outside entity to assist with your EMR, including a hosting company, you must have a BAA signed with that organization. That document does not clear you of your own responsibilities related to HIPAA, but it does delineate the role that the hosting company takes and ways in which they should be held liable for any breaches, etc.
What is a BAA (business associate agreement)?
A HIPAA business associate agreement is a legal contract between a HIPAA covered entity and business associate, as defined via the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. These agreements safeguard ePHI (electronic protected health information), which is the sensitive personal data and records of patients.
Covered entities are healthcare providers, plans, and data clearinghouses, while business associates are any organization doing business with covered entities in a manner that involves ePHI.
Here is a list of HIPAA Compliant Hosting Services, provided by Atlantic.Net:
According to The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), there are two different types of organizations that must ensure compliance: covered entities and business associates. Atlantic.Net™ falls into the latter category, a third-party entity contracted to handle ePHI (electronic protected health information).
In order to both comply with the law and assure our clients that we’re committed to keeping their information safe, we’ve drafted up a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement, or BAA. BAAs are a type of HIPAA-Compliant documentation that is critical to our relationship with healthcare firms and medical practitioners alike, as it firmly establishes the legal parameters for our use of ePHI. The following three components are central to this contract:
In conjunction with our SSAE 18 SOC 1 SOC 2 (formerly SSAE 16) certified data center, our BAA documentation shows that we’re committed to keeping the private healthcare information of our clients both safe and secure. Moreover, BAAs show that we’re willing to go beyond the minimum standards of compliance established in HIPAA. Healthcare businesses who choose us as a host have the peace of mind that can only come from knowing that they’re partnered with a veteran - and one that’s completely committed to their best interests, at that.
Our data center facilities are fully audited and certified to be in compliance with HIPAA and HITECH. Our Healthcare colocation clients enjoy an industry-leading service-level agreement, world-class data center infrastructure and superior on-site security.
The applications healthcare companies are running are frequently incredibly resource-intensive, requiring a dedicated server imply to operate effectively. This server, whether a dedicated or virtual system, needs to be both secure and compliant. That’s doubly true in cases where the company is a healthcare application service provider, which routinely manages patient data from a wide array of firms.
Once again, Atlantic.Net™ is fully-equipped to deliver.
Our design includes an application server that can be adapted to your needs whether your architecture is physical or virtualized. Even better, all Atlantic.Net application servers are protected with a full suite of security components, including a Fully-Managed Firewall appliance, an encrypted VPN with an optional GeoTrust SSL, and a powerful Intrusion Prevention System with proactive monitoring.
Perhaps the most frequent reason for healthcare providers to look into hosting services is the operation of databases in order to store patient and organizational data. Our engineers will provide you with whatever format of database best meets your needs - and it’ll be affordable no matter what your choice. Whether you choose Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, or PostgreSQL, we've got you covered when it comes to databases.
Our HIPAA-compliant database security incorporates our fully-managed firewall appliance, an encrypted VPN with SSL technology, and our intrusion detection system. Further, everything we do that concerns the hosting plan is considerate of compliance implications; we honor regulatory parameters at all times.
Here are just a few benefits of choosing to host your database with Atlantic.Net:
In addition to managed/unmanaged dedicated servers, we offer virtualization hosting solutions with the following hypervisors:
Our fully-managed and compliant security allows us to consistently keep track of your security, allowing you to stay focused on your core competencies.
Our Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) works off of a continually-revised database of malware and other potential hazards, and features customizable security infrastructure that allows us to tweak it to your specific needs. We routinely test and re-test all components of our IPS, and allow upgrades on an as-needed basis. Threats are monitored and prevented in real-time.
Our IPS also features a powerful Firewall Appliance which connects to each interface, monitoring everything from CPU usage to response rate for gateways. For those of you who require traffic shaping and simultaneous connection limitations, both are easily configurable.
All of this is available at minimal cost - meaning you’ll have access to world-class security at a price that won’t leave you tapped out.
One of the stipulations for HIPAA is that healthcare organizations must utilize an antimalware application to remain compliant. Atlantic.Net's engineers trust Trend Micro Anti-Malware to protect clients from malicious software.
Virtual Environments: Preserve performance and consolidation ratios with comprehensive agentless security built specifically to maximize protection for virtual environments.
Optimized for Server Environments: Optimizes security operations to avoid antivirus storms commonly seen in full system scanning and pattern updates from traditional security capabilities.
Virtual patching: Shield vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, eliminating the operational pains of emergency patching, frequent patch cycles, and costly system downtime.
Compliance: Demonstrate compliance with a number of regulatory requirements including PCI DSS 3.0, HIPAA, HITECH , FISMA/NIST , NERC , SSAE 18, and more. Learn more about Trend Micro Deep Security.
Trend Micro Deep Security Anti-Malware
Trend Micro Deep Security Network Security Package
Trend Micro Deep Security Integrity Monitoring
Trend Micro Deep Security Log Inspection
In addition to our IPS system, Atlantic.Net provides a powerful set of managed firewall components, designed with optimal affordability and security in mind. Learn more about our managed firewall service here. We’re able to create out-of-the-box solutions for just about any configuration, including Linux servers or even Cisco ASA Firewalls. Reporting maintains historical information on every aspect of your system related to network security, including CPU utilization, firewall states, WAN gateways, and traffic shaping.
By default, we deploy an OpenBSD stateful firewall that allows you to granularly control your states. This allows you to limit states per host, new connections per second, state timeout, state type, and simultaneous client connections. It allows the handling of multiple states, as well. Have a look for yourself:
It also offers a number of state table optimization options:
Last but certainly not least, our dedicated firewalls are connected to a management service that’ll help you ease the burden of monitoring.
This management service allows us to help you implement switches that can be used to set up encrypted VPN connections (we support OpenVPN, IPsec, and PPTP by default) to and from your hosted servers. HIPAA compliance requirements are kept central to the entire process, from management to maintenance to troubleshooting. It’s efficient, too - we realize that your time is important, so we stay with you every step of the way to make compliance a breeze.
All Atlantic.Net clients by default have access to our Network Address Translation Utility, designed to allow them to quickly and easily shape how their network functions. It features easy configuration for port forwarding (including ranges and the capacity to support multiple public IPS), outbound NAT, and advanced load balancing for both inbound and outbound connections. Integrated with the firewall appliance, it can be readily set up with full redundancy thanks to pfsync and CARP from OpenBSD.
The rapid growth of data, shrinking backup windows and budgets, scaling issues, and multiplatform environments currently in place in the healthcare industry all present significant challenges for server administrators. Atlantic.Net's experts can help, whether you're looking to back up your HIPAA compliant cloud hosting servers or your HIPAA compliant dedicated servers. Through our powerful Server Backup Manager - a fast, affordable platform for both Linux and Windows - we perform backups either daily or in real-time for each of our HIPAA clients, whichever they request. Incremental backups are done at the block level for advanced speed, and HIPAA hosting clients have full control over when, where, and how their data is stored. Data is by default kept in our HIPAA compliant SSAE 18 SOC 1 SOC 2 (formerly SSAE 16) data center, secured through on-site measures along with a suite of powerful and robust HIPAA compliant security software.
In addition to a host of customization options, the hosting backup platform is also equipped with robust monitoring tools, portable backups, point-in-time snapshots, and the ability to perform a bare-metal restore at any point in time. We support HIPAA compliant backups for the majority of virtualized platforms, as well as a wide range of SQL servers and databases.
Atlantic.Net provides highly available and faster HIPAA Compliant Web Server Hosting for faster load times, reliability, better security, and minimal risk of crashing. We support IIS, Nginx and Apache.
Atlantic.Net delivers HIPAA Compliant Storage Hosting for clients looking for stability, security and compliance backed by industrial grade solutions. Atlantic.Net HIPAA storage hosting solutions are ideal for running mission-critical applications and storing a large amount of user-generated data, media files, and data that requires encryption.
Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
24/7 Phone, Chat, & Email Support
Fully Managed Firewall
Intrusion Detection System
Linux & Window Servers
Highly Available Infrastructure
Encrypted Backup, Storage, & VPN
Log Management System
Ensures internal controls and best practices for physical security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.
Ensures that our processes, policies, facilities, and hosting solutions comply with the latest HIPAA Audit Protocols.
Stringent testing that continues to expand to comply with HITECH Act policies and protocols.
Dedicated to Your Success
"After evaluating a range of managed hosting options to support our data operations, we chose Atlantic.Net because of their superior infrastructure and extensive technical knowledge."
– Jason Coleman
VP of Information Technology, Orlando Magic
"Atlantic.Net’s support for Windows Server Containers in their cloud platform brings additional choice and options for our joint customers in search of flexible and innovative cloud services."
- Erin Chapple
General Manager for Windows Server, Microsoft Corp.
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