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The pros and cons of the Cloud for healthcare providers

The cloud is increasingly becoming the go to solution for many industries looking to streamline their systems and bring costs under control. But, as is sometimes rather jokingly said, the cloud is just other people’s computers. So, for the healthcare sector in particular, there are some serious considerations surrounding security and compliance to be taken into account when considering adopting a cloud strategy.

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Healthcare organisations are rapidly adopting the cloud and are expected to increase their spending in this area by 20 percent a year over the period up to 2020. However, despite this popularity, there are worries about security and control, as well as growing concerns of a skills shortage.

Clinical information

The major concern surrounding the cloud is the protection of patient data. Security and privacy here must be paramount. This information is valuable not just to hackers, but also to competitors, and there are fears that the cloud could leave information exposed.

When considering a move to the cloud therefore, it’s vital to look at means of protecting data. Encryption of files both at rest and in transit is something that must be taken seriously. Measures, such as application whitelisting, from https://www.promisec.com/application-whitelisting-software/, can ensure that the networks and endpoints used to provide cloud access remain safe.

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Data handling

Enterprises in all sectors have more and more information about their clients. This due to the ease of collecting information via Internet of Things connected devices, plus an increasingly connected world where it’s possible to harvest useful information from sources like social media.

This leads to a huge volume of data which needs to be stored and processed. The attractions of the cloud are clear to see here. Data can be stored remotely, but remain easily accessible. As the amount of data grows, the cloud can easily scale to accommodate it, without the need to plan for extra hardware and other resources in house.

Although we’ve talked about security as a potential downside of moving healthcare data to the cloud, it can also be an advantage. An in-house cloud can offer many of the advantages of flexibility, without compromising in terms of security and protecting the confidentiality of information. Even if you choose an external service provider, many are now keen to stress their credentials in the healthcare marketplace.

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