Healthcare is warming up to cloud services, and that means extra vigilance. Here's what you should be doing at a minimum to keep data safe.
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Take a headcount
Before an internal audit, one small hospital believed it had about 20 cloud services in use. After the audit, it knew employees were using about 200 cloud services, says Kamal Shah, vice president of products at Skyhigh Networks, in an interview. "When IT looked at the list they found there were many [apps] they had never heard of before," he says.
When employees download cloud-based apps for file sharing, storage, collaboration, and other functions, IT should review employees' favorite apps and consider whether any meet the department's security and other criteria, he says. If so, the organization can standardize on these apps, educate employees about their availability, and encourage their use, he says.
"By doing that you're consolidating services, making available services that are in demand, and you're putting the necessary controls in place to comply with your regulatory, security, and compliance needs," says Shah.
Healthcare Data Breaches Cost More Than You ThinkHealthcare providers just don't get it. They refuse to see the need to fully secure their protected health information from unauthorized users -- and from authorized users who abuse their access privileges. As a result, they don't allocate enough budgetary resources for securing medical data.