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David Linthicum: Cloud-Based Health Data Holds Promise

By Tim Watson
Posted Apr 11, 2013 in Technology
David Linthicum, chief technology officer at loud computing consulting and advisory firm Blue Mountain Labs, outlines how healthcare organizations can utilize cloud computing to store data in his essay for Health Data Management.
Linthicum writes that many healthcare chief information officers are reconsidering their positions regarding the security of health data in clouds, adding he believes cloud-based storage systems may be more secure than their traditional on-premise counterparts.
He points to findings in Alert Logic’s Fall 2012 “State of the Cloud Security Report” to support his case, as that firm found on-premise systems suffer more attacks than service provider systems.
According to Linthicum, cloud-based systems do better in these studies because they require more planning and technology than on-premise systems.
Organizations assume security will be a problem with cloud systems but do not give the same amount of planning and resources to internal systems, Linthicum writes.
Linthicum gives a step-by-step process for health organizations to implement cloud.
In step one, he recommends understanding specific requirements for specific systems and this requires audits and policies aimed at ensuring their security postures fulfill legal requirements.
For step two, organizations should de-emphasize the importance of where data is located and focus on who controls the data.
The final step involves testing for vulnerabilities, which Linthicum believes is an absolute must for shoring up data.