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Cloud Computing Security Essay

1330 words - 6 pages

Managing the security of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system in a cloud computing environment can be challenging. Even without the addition of the cloud computing environment, the EMR system is vulnerable to the compromise of login information, unauthorized viewing or editing of medical records, and denial of service attacks. First of all, the data contained within the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) itself is sensitive. Inside the structure of an EMR, one is potentially looking to find patient data that pertains to identity, billing information, dentistry, cardiology, dermatology, mental health, and physical attributes among other forms of data. In many EMR systems, tools to ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, one may look toward such avenues as negotiating terms with their cloud provider and having the cloud provider provide them with their security and compliance requirements (Mishra, D.P., Mishra, R., & Tripathy, 2011, p. 58).
When you look at the broader picture, there are many reasons why an organization needs to secure an EMR system. A patient’s insurance company or potential employer may want to wrongfully use the information contained in a medical record to make unethical decisions or to discriminate. A health care provider is of no value to a patient if there is no dependable medical record system in place. Without an operational system, a provider cannot review medical history which poses a potential threat to a patient’s health. Because patient care is such a critical process, records need to be accurate and available when needed. Identity and billing information are stored in these systems also; careful measures must be taken to ensure that information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, home addresses, and telephone numbers are not compromised.
In order for an EMR systems access control to be effective, its primary focus should be to protect patient data from compromise (Helms & Williams, 2011, p. 63). Additionally, and EMR system should be established with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance in mind. This task can be difficult, but it is important that everyone involved in the EMR system takes their roles seriously. Certification criteria have been established to evaluate an EMR system’s compliance. This set of criteria is known as Meaningful Use as defined by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), and NIST RBAC (Role Based Access Control). EMR software developers are expected to adhere to the criteria as a minimum. If a software developer adheres to only the minimum security standards, this may not be sufficient security for any particular organization. Just because and EMR system is able to pass security certification, it is not an indication that privacy is protected. Every organization has a specific architecture that they must consider when implementing their roles into the EMR system. Careful analysis may be necessary in order to put a sufficient security system into place, the turnover rate in an organization can be tremendous; in other words, people are hired, fired and retired on a consistent basis. Organizations should establish roles and assign user to those roles. Once these roles are established, users can be plugged into those roles; this can serve to lessen the possibility of handing out permissions to individuals with malicious intent (Helms & Williams, 2011, p. 64).
Even after all of these measures have been taken into consideration, there is no guarantee that people within the organization will adhere to the rules. In fact, insider attacks have...

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