Cloud computing providers are always looking to increase their security, but healthcare organizations must understand the measures that have been put in place, that they are appropriate for sensitive workloads and that they are in line with compliance obligations.
Because there are so many access points and users, hospitals need a solution to manage identities and access. This solution should be enforceable across every IT environment and should include role-based permission capabilities and multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive information. The policies governing it should outline what data can be stored in the cloud and who can use cloud services and how.
Everyone plays a role in maintaining security, even when applications and data are moved to the cloud. The staff must be trained to recognize increasingly sophisticated phishing attacks and should be trained in creating strong, secure personal passwords. Educating the security staff is an investment, but it is essential, as the threats attached to cloud computing are evolving as rapidly as its benefits.
Cloud computing does not negate the need for endpoint security. Keeping track of and applying security protocols to every device is an ongoing process; regular checkups, in the form of audits and penetration testing, can keep your cloud security strong.
Most importantly, IT and cybersecurity specialists must be clear on who is responsible for securing what in a cloud computing environment. A cornerstone of cloud security is a shared responsibility model between the healthcare organization and the provider. However, each provider configures security differently, even if the application or service is the same.
This shared security responsibility demands that healthcare organizations follow a strong regimen of security best practices if they are to fully and safely realize the benefits of cloud computing.
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