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HIPAA Compliance and the Cloud

March 26th, 2015

HIPAA compliance is becoming an important topic with the rise of Cloud usage. It is important to secure the patients’ data because there are vulnerabilities in cloud storage. The HIPAA Omnibus Rule had made several changes in terms of handling patient’s data. Now, cloud service providers are considered as business associates and remain accountable in case of breach.

According to the HIPAA rule, patients’ privacy is protected, regardless of where it is being stored which includes cloud storage option.

“For example, a data storage company that has access to protected health information (whether digital or hard copy) qualifies as a business associate, even if the entity does not view the information or only does so on a random or infrequent basis. Thus, document storage companies maintaining protected health information on behalf of covered entities are considered business associates, regardless of whether they actually view the information they hold.”

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) has published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Omnibus Rule.

“The obligations of a business associate depend on the extent of services and functions it is performing with PHI on behalf of a covered entity,” the CDT paper states. “A CSP that has no capability to access PHI, that provides storage functionality only, and that adheres to HHS standards with respect to encryption should have little liability risk as a business associate (except to ensure that it properly manages encryption).”

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

File Sharing and Security

February 28th, 2015

In recent times, file sharing is done frequently on the internal servers, websites or through Instant Messaging service. Due to availability of various services on personal devices like smart phones it has become challenging for the organization to secure the sensitive information. Even unprotected Windows networking shares can be exploited by intruders in an automated way. Companies can follow below guidelines to protect themselves from data breach:

  • Protecting your computer against malicious file sharing tools and websites
  • Domain checking of the website for authenticity and then allowing permission to transfer data
  • Downloading data from trusted sites
  • Save downloads instead of running them from pop up window
  • Checking license agreement and privacy statement before installing any software
  • Avoiding illegal downloads
  • Don’t open mail from unknown sources
  • Don’t share your computer access
  • Regularly update your security software with the patches
  • Check your security on regular basis
  • Don’t open your IM on public list
  • Never send sensitive information or files like credit card numbers, SSN’s etc on IM
  • Secure your IM by contacting security admin regularly
  • Highly social nature of IM helps imposters to get information
  • Beware of sharing your personal as well as company information with strangers

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.