5 Best HIPAA Compliant Data Storage for Your Medical Record
HIPAA compliant cloud storage repositories have gained more and more recognition in recent years given the government regulatory bodies are looking to protect your medical data.
With a number of privacy and security requirements set in place by HIPAA and other healthcare industry groups, it is vital that you choose a HIPAA-compliant data storage company for your medical records.
In this research, we’ve compiled the five best HIPAA compliant cloud storage companies which will keep up-hold of your personal medical records.
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA is the short form for the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996“, which was established to protect medical data.
The standards were created by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services also known as HHS, and are in place to protect your medical health records from being sold or distributed to other parties without your permission.
The HIPAA requirements are covered under HIPAA Security Rules, which include:
- Medical record information should be kept either in your physical medical records or only authorized personnel are allowed to enter the facilities.
- You must be able to get copies of your medical record within 30 days of being requested and those requests for copies can only be one-time.
- A medical record, or the data within, should be stored in a secure facility.
- The information should only be shared with those people who are authorized to see it and it should only be passed on if authorized by the patient or their physician.
- No personal medical information should be released to any person without your permission.
- And etc. You can find more information here.
HIPAA Compliance in Cloud Storage Adoption
The biggest concern that most people have with regards to HIPAA is how the information is stored and managed.
HIPAA mandates that your medical records be stored either in the actual physical medical record or within an electronic network database.
What this means is that if someone were to hack into your cloud storage provider, they would have access to the information in your medical record and also be able to access it outside of the HIPAA regulations.
This is why many people are hesitant about going with a cloud storage provider which does not keep up-hold with their HIPAA requirements.
With data moving online and being stored in the cloud, the potential for privacy breaches is high.
Thus cloud storage or these data storage providers need to adapt and embrace these HIPAA rules and governance.
For example, your PHI (Protected Health Information) cannot be stored on a public server.
Rather, they must be stored in a private storage facility so that only authorized personnel can access the data.
However, when it comes to HIPAA-compliant cloud storage, there are many different kinds of providers that offer such cloud storages which take care of all the data with the utmost security measures.
Purchasing HIPAA-compliant cloud storage gives you peace of mind as you never need to worry about your data being compromised.
As long as you choose a storage provider that is compliant with the HIPAA Security Rules, your PHI will be kept secure from any unauthorized access.
Why The Need of HIPAA to cloud storage
Cloud storage data breaching is a very common issue nowadays, and it is important to understand the reason why there are so many attacks such as this.
SingHealth, Singapore’s largest group of healthcare institutions had been hacked recently, and all the patients’ data were compromised. It was reported that this breach was one of the largest in Singapore to date.
The security breach in SingHealth involved 1.5 million individuals who were supposed to have their information stored securely and safely.
All of these happened because they lacked adequate cybersecurity awareness, resources, and training to properly respond to the cyberattack. They also failed to execute up-to-date security countermeasures to protect the data.
As a result, the PHI (Protected Health Information) of these patients has been exposed and is now in the hands of cybercriminals.
This is why measurement such as HIPAA compliance is important.
To provide guidelines that an organization or cloud storage providers need to follow for proper data management and protection.
Which Organizations Are Subject to HIPAA Compliant Storage Requirements?
In the United States, there are several organizations that must be HIPAA compliant.
- Healthcare Industry
- Health Plans
- Healthcare Clearinghouses
- Rehabilitation Facilities
- State and Local Government Agencies
- and Colleges and Universities.
In addition, all other organizations that conduct business in the United States with these entities are also subject to HIPAA-compliant storage requirements.
What Are the HIPAA Compliance Requirements for Cloud Storage Providers?
Cloud storage providers are subject to HIPAA compliance if they plan to store health information in their own cloud storage systems.
The HIPAA compliance requirements for cloud storage consist of a number of issues, there are a number of them but we had summarized some of the most important points which include:
- Data breach notification
- Routinely evaluate its policy and procedure to abide by the Security’s rules
- Encryption and the security of transmission of the data
- Storage of PHI in a secure facility
- Employee training and management
- Audit control
The listed above are just a few of the HIPAA compliance requirements for cloud storage and it is highly recommended that you read more about them before deciding which cloud storage provider to use.
5 cloud storage services that are HIPAA-compliant
We had shortlisted the top 5 HIPPA compliant data storage providers based on the following criteria and regulations that we had discussed above.
There are several different cloud storage providers that are compliant with HIPAA Security Rules, and here we will discuss five of the most popular ones.
Tresorit is a cloud security provider that gives you access to secure data storage in the US, EU, and Singapore.
Tresorit complies with HIPAA Security Rules and requires all hardware on its servers to be encrypted; this means it has military-grade encryption.
If you need to know more about how we feel about them, check out our Tresorit review.
It’s no surprise that they are voted as one of our most secure cloud storage.
Box had been in compliance with HIPAA since 2012. Box has set the standard for cloud security and protection.
They are recognized as one of the most popular cloud storage providers because of their HIPAA compliance.
However, not all their cloud storage services are HIPAA compliant. Only the “Enterprise” package under their business plans is HIPAA compliance.
Sync only offers HIPAA-compliant data storage with their Business Solo and Business Pro plans.
The unique zero-knowledge encryption is one of the main attractions of Sync. We had written a detailed review about Sync.com over here, make sure you check those out.
Making them unable to decrypt or retrieve any PHI that is being stored on their servers.
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services, with a monthly active user count of 20 million. It’s not difficult to see why from our review here.
Dropbox is a file sharing and syncing service that makes it easy to share your files between computers, smartphones, and other devices.
While Dropbox is a favorite among average users, they do offer its data storage to healthcare practice through the Business Standard and Business Advanced plans.
SpiderOak is a safe and secure cloud backup service. They provide unlimited storage, powerful privacy features, and are HIPAA compliant.
SpiderOak is the perfect solution for businesses that specializes in certain industries like banking, healthcare, or even life science.
Due to their focusses on certain industries, they are able to align and customize their data storage solution according to the industry requirement.
Is HIPAA Alone Enough to Secure Your Medical Records?
While HIPAA compliance is the most important guideline to store your medical records, you need other measures to secure your data.
HIPAA compliance is not something you can take lightly when it comes to your PHI. You need to have a high level of awareness about HIPAA Security Rules and data breaches as you are the sole responsible for your PHI.
It is important to also use security measures such as data encryption and backup measures.
HIPAA compliance is a good start, but you need to take other precautions such as:
- High integrity in handling PHI
- Make a backup plan
- Train all staff on HIPAA compliance and security
- Implement a regular and reliable testing process to prevent any security breach or software failure
In addition to HIPAA compliance, you should perform regular upgrades on your system and software, and ensure that they are up-to-date with all the latest software patch updates.
HIPAA compliance does not guarantee that your medical records are completely safe from any form of a security breach, but it will help you meet the required requirements for storing your medical records in cloud storage without a lot of hassle and confusion.
In the past few years, it has become increasingly more important for healthcare organizations to enter into strategies and plans that will help them adhere to HIPAA compliance.
If you are in the industry or plan to start your own healthcare business, you should consider HIPAA-compliant cloud storage and we hope our recommendation above helps you to make an informed decision.