If you are the leader of a healthcare organization and are thinking about moving your IT operations into the cloud, you probably already know that selecting a cloud service provider that not only provides you with superior services but also will remain compliant with HIPAA requirements is absolutely essential.
Luckily, there are a few ways you can tell if you have found the right cloud provider for you and your organization’s needs. Here are 8 benchmarks to help ensure that your possible future cloud provider is meeting HIPAA requirements addressing the privacy and security of your data:
Access Controls – Cloud providers that are compliant with HIPAA’s requirements need to have access controls in place, including electronic identification. They must also limit physical onsite data access to a restricted amount of people in order to keep your data confidential and safe.
Breach Notification – If a security breach were to occur, your cloud provider must be able to initiate an incident response process as soon as possible.
Data Location – When you choose a cloud provider, you should strongly consider one that will house your data on a server in the United States. If your data were stored on servers in a foreign country, the foreign governments in those countries could very well search through your data and/or confiscate the servers.
Disaster Recovery – If a disaster were to take place, you need to be able to count on your cloud provider to have a plan in place to address the recovery. This includes disasters that are both natural as well as those that are human-induced. Your cloud provider will help protect your information and get your organization back on its feet as soon as possible.
Encrypted Data – When your data is transferred to and from the cloud, it needs to be encrypted and secure. Your cloud provider MUST be able to do this. This also includes encrypting your healthcare data on any and all hard drives, at backup sites, etc.
Monitoring – Constant monitoring is absolutely essential when it comes to protecting healthcare data. Your cloud provider will need to monitor your data in the cloud at all times and look for any suspicious activities of any kind.
Personnel – Look for a cloud provider that will provide a dedicated person onsite who will be responsible for matching their offerings with HIPAA’s requirements.
Policies – Of course, your provider must absolutely have a security program that will fit the very specific procedures and policies that HIPAA requires. Do not expect any less of your cloud provider in this department whatsoever.
As you look through your choices for a possible cloud provider, make sure to research them all and choose one that successfully manages their services for other healthcare clients. Look at testimonials, call a few trusted colleagues to get their opinion, or investigate them yourself to see how they measure up to your organization’s standards and HIPAA’s requirements.
We at Network Specialists are confident that we can protect your incredibly confidential data in a very secure manner. If you are ready to make the switch, feel free to call us at (314) 531-2840. You can also learn more about us and see what our current customers have to say about us at . See why we are the perfect choice for your healthcare organization!