Data in the Cloud: How to Protect Your Records
Health care data has a large target on it. Unlike social security numbers or credit card numbers – which are only worth pennies – medical records are worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars. With data in the cloud being the norm today, can providers keep their medical records safe?
Using electronic medical records has numerous advantages for the medical community as well as the patient. They provide accurate and up-to-date information about patients from the point of care; they can be securely shared with other medical professionals and patients; medical errors are reduced; and patients can count on more reliable prescribing.
With data in the cloud, there is also going to be a rather obvious drawback: hackers. The Department of Health and Human Services saw a 24% increase in hacking-related data breaches in 2017 but that’s just one institution. Health care organizations have seen an 89% increase in ransomware attacks from 2016 to 2017, according to the 2017 Health Care Cyber Research Report.
Sequencing genes takes a lot of computer power. The study of genetic factors has led to the discovery of more than 1,800 genes, and cloud storage is the repository for a lot of this genetic information. This is just one example of how data in the cloud can be impacted by cyber security threats. Of course, there are risks involved storing genetic data in the cloud, even when it has been de-identified. Due to the sheer volume of genetic data being uploaded on a daily basis, identity theft is a real concern.
Due to these concerns, there is a need for highly trained IT professionals to manage the environment surrounding data in the cloud. You need to know exactly how you’ll respond should your organization get hit, which means you have to have a disaster recovery plan in place. Perhaps more important is being proactive in your approach to cyber security.
A proactive approach includes educating your staff about the various methods through which hackers can access data, which reduces the risk of internal error. Taking critical information and storing it in an on-site server is also an option to consider as an alternative, perhaps lending to a hybrid approach to security.
Additionally, your providers must be proactive and follow the same strict set of rules you’ve established for yourself such as using encryption. Encrypting your data can put you in a safer position to transfer data in an otherwise sketchy environment.
Partnering with the right agent can help you navigate the treacherous waters more easily because if you’re armed with the right tools for the job, fighting the usual issues related to data in the cloud gets much easier. At Net Tel One Communications, our goal is to bring the support you need to perform at higher levels with more protection. From reducing risk with firewall configuration to keeping pace with the top cloud security risks, we’ve got solutions. Contact us and let’s talk about your needs.