Questions to Ask to Ensure Your Cloud Services Provider Is HIPAA Compliant

Healthcare organizations are embracing the many advantages of cloud computing, including its scalability, cost-efficiency, and flexibility. While the cloud makes file storage and sharing easy and convenient, its security risks are numerous enough to have given rise to the CASB category. Before implementing a solution, however, it’s important to understand how industry regulations impact cloud adoption – and what to look for when selecting a cloud-storage service provider.

If your business must be HIPAA compliant, these 10 questions to ensure HIPAA compliance might save you some major headaches down the road.

Does your cloud provider have the right policies in place?
A cloud services provider must have a program that meets specific security policies and procedures as mandated by HIPAA. One such policy is a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) that sets forth a specific set of guidelines for HIPAA compliance for all parties, including sub-contractors, involved with storing data. With a BAA, cloud providers and all associated parties are liable in the event of data loss or theft. Make sure all the companies handling your data sign a BAA.
Do they have a dedicated staff for HIPAA compliance?
Your cloud services provider should have dedicated employees on-site working to ensure HIPAA regulations are met. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your cloud services provider works around the clock to monitor compliance and delivers a consistently high level of security.
What is the encryption process for data?
Your provider must guarantee that the transfer of data to and from the cloud is encrypted and secure. HIPAA dictates that FIPS-140-2 encryption is in place for any ePHI (electronic protected health information) that is in transit. There should also be an encryption for data that is at rest in SANs (storage area networks), on local drivers, and for backups on hard drives.
Do they have access controls?
Preventing hackers doesn’t just involve encryption. Measures must also be in place to prevent any internal breaches. Master keys and electronic IDs are two ways in which the provider could safeguard security and limit data access. Biometric scans, such as fingerprint or eye scans, are becoming increasingly popular with  PPC Agency USA tech firms, and that’s a good thing for clients.
Do they offer offsite backups?
HIPAA also requires that secure offsite backups are in place. This is key to keeping data safe in the event of something catastrophic that could lead to loss or theft.
What security awareness training processes do they have in place?
Cloud providers need to consistently assess procedures to make sure they are operating within HIPAA regulations. Providers need a structured and up-to-date program to ensure their employees and clients are familiar with all potential security issues. These programs will also need to be updated as HIPAA regulations change. Human error is one of the main sources of security breaches, so it’s important that the vendor you select understands the importance of ongoing training.

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