Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Blog Feed Post

Cloud Security Affected by HIPAA Business Associate Agreements

HIPAA Compliance Cloud Security  healthcare cloud security Cloud Security Affected by HIPAA Business Associate AgreementsMedCity Health IT: The HIPAA Omnibus Rule regulations encourage business associates to healthcare companies to share responsibility for data breaches. These new regulations involve signing “Business Associate Agreements” with providers, yet are likely to strengthen trust in cloud security, and allow more healthcare entities to enjoy the benefits of the cloud while ensuring that patient privacy is maintained.

In the recent past, organizations were hesitant to move sensitive healthcare information to the cloud. The cloud was unfamiliar and seemed to be less safe than crunching data on company hardware. But now that cloud service providers are taking on a big slice of responsibility for their clients’ data security, cloud computing is much more attractive. Not only is it perceived to be safer, but it transfers some of the responsibility for security from the healthcare company to the cloud provider, making it a safer choice than going it alone.

In fact,  a recent study (conducted in Aug 2013 by Imprivita) shows that the use of cloud-based applications and services in healthcare is up significantly from last year. A full 30 percent of respondents said they currently use cloud computing. In 2012, the number was only nine percent. And 40 percent of those respondents said they have moved their Private Health Information (PHI) into the cloud (also up from nine percent last year).

The new reality does bring with it some challenges. Business Associate Agreements (BAA’s) define the relationship between the provider and the healthcare organization. Some cloud providers set their own conditions which customers must meet in order to get a BAA. And the customers themselves , are asking questions such as how the provider will react to a security breach, or about the length of incident response time.

Although each BAA is a little different, the US Department of Health and Human Services provides a list of the necessary components of a BAA. The 10 crucial elements are:

  1. The contract must establish the permitted and required uses and disclosures of protected health information by the BA.
  2. It must provide that the BA will not disclose any other information other than what has been permitted in the agreement.
  3. The BA must implement safeguards to protect PHI, including electronic records.
  4. BA must disclose to the healthcare organization any use or disclosure of information not provided for in the contract, including security breaches.
  5. BA’s must disclose private health information to the healthcare provider when the patient requests it.
  6. The BA must follow all regulations set out in the Privacy Rule.
  7. The BA must make available to the healthcare organization its books, records and internal practices relating to use and disclosure of PHI.
  8. When the contract is terminated, the BA must return or destroy all PHI.
  9. Any subcontracters engaged by the BA are required to abide by the same regulations as the BA.
  10. If the BA violates any of the terms of the contract, the contract will be terminated.

These clear guidlines make it easier for healthcare organizations to venture into cloud computing.

HIPAA Compliant Organizations Turn to Data Encryption

Not only are more healthcare organizations looking to the cloud, but many businesses are now turning to data encryption as the most cost-effective and efficient method of data protection and breach notification. This is becoming the accepted best practice, and allows so-called “Safe Harbor” for a HIPAA compliant entity if a breach does occur.

Data encryption provides a kind of “mathematical wall” that replaces the old walls of the physical world.  As long as the owner of the data keeps the encryption keys to himself, this is actually quite effective. And “Safe Harbor” rules from the Health and Human Services administration (HHS) mean that – if you can prove that the data was encrypted and the encryption keys kept safe – you will avoid many of the fines and reporting requirements should something go wrong.

As healthcare providers and their business associates adjust to the new HIPAA regulations, it is expected that more of them will take advantage of data encryption and benefit from the efficiency of cloud computing.

The post Cloud Security Affected by HIPAA Business Associate Agreements appeared first on Porticor Cloud Security.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Gilad Parann-Nissany

Gilad Parann-Nissany, Founder and CEO at Porticor is a pioneer of Cloud Computing. He has built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises at SAP (CTO Small Business); contributing to several SAP products and reaching more than 8 million users. Recently he has created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st - a cloud operating system that delighted hundreds of thousands of users while providing browser-based and mobile access to data, people and a variety of cloud-based applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a leader in Virtual Privacy and Cloud Security.

CloudEXPO Stories
Everyone wants the rainbow - reduced IT costs, scalability, continuity, flexibility, manageability, and innovation. But in order to get to that collaboration rainbow, you need the cloud! In this presentation, we'll cover three areas: First - the rainbow of benefits from cloud collaboration. There are many different reasons why more and more companies and institutions are moving to the cloud. Benefits include: cost savings (reducing on-prem infrastructure, reducing data center foot print, reducing IT support costs), enabling growth (ensuring a highly available, highly scalable infrastructure), increasing employee access & engagement (by having collaboration tools that are usable and available globally regardless of location there will be an increased connectedness amongst teams and individuals that will help increase both efficiency and productivity.)
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. SD-WAN helps enterprises to take advantage of the exploding landscape of cloud applications and services, due to its unique capability to support all things cloud related.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.