The Implications of Data Protection for Cloud Providers and Integrators in the Health Care Space
In a society ever more dependent on technology, protection of privacy and personal data is key. Those who work in the health care industry must be particularly vigilant. In the past several years, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA’s) privacy and security rules have become more stringent. Not only health care providers, but also those who work with them, must be aware of how to protect data. If you provide cloud-based technology to the health care industry, stay abreast of advances in the field meant to protect yourself as well as your colleagues.
HIPAA Requires Stringent, Sophisticated Data Protection
Everyone wants his or her private data protected on computers or mobile devices. For health care professionals, however, privacy protection is a matter of keeping their jobs and maintaining patients’ trust. If you are not familiar with HIPAA and its requirements for encryption, make sure that your company is and can help you get up to speed.
HIPAA requires highly secure data encryption for all individually identifiable health care information. Any time this information is in transit, it must be encrypted using FIPS-40-2. Any cloud-based technology you install must also have high-end access controls. The most common of these are biometric scans, which uses fingerprints or eye scans to determine who can access certain data. Other examples include electronic IDs, master keys, and high-end passwords. You must provide all of your clients in the health care industry with copies of your encryption policies, offsite backup options, and disaster plans in the event of a security breach. Any data stored on hard drives, thumb drives, or backup devices must be encrypted using high-end methods as well.
Work Directly with Health Care Providers
Never handle HIPAA compliance or encryption over the phone or via email. Whenever possible, meet with clients face to face so you can explain all of your encryption methods, your disaster recovery plan, and your data storage recommendations. If you are not sure whether something you have installed complies with HIPAA, ask a health care provider for help. Additionally, remember that strict HIPAA compliance exists to protect you just as much as your clients. If you make sure all patient data is protected, you are less likely to be held responsible for a breach. In addition, you can rest assured that your private data is protected should you ever need a health care provider’s services.
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