HIPAA-compliant cloud storage repositories have gained more and more recognition in recent years given that 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 an 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-compliant cloud storage is that it must be accessed only by authorized personnel. This means that access to the data is restricted to specific individuals or groups who have been granted permission to view or modify the data.
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 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 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, and 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?
HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a US law that sets standards for the protection of certain types of personal health information.
While HIPAA provides important protections for medical records, it is not the only factor that determines the security of these records.
To fully protect medical records, organizations should implement a variety of measures in addition to complying with HIPAA requirements. This might include things like strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, frequent security updates, and regular security audits.
In addition, it is important for individuals to take steps to protect their own medical records.
This might include things like being cautious about sharing personal health information online, using strong passwords to protect access to their own medical records, and being aware of the risks associated with using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
Overall, HIPAA is an important part of protecting medical records, but it should be considered as just one element of a comprehensive security strategy.
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 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.
And HIPAA is only one of the regulations and compliances that have been set by the authorities to make sure that our data is safeguarded by these providers.