October 2021 - Ostride Labs
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Medical Privacy and Cloud Computing Security Solutions


Medical Privacy and Cloud Computing Security Solutions

Cloud computing is a relatively new technology that is expected to transform the healthcare industry. It has many advantages such as flexibility, cost and energy savings, resource allocation, and faster distribution, which are becoming more crucial with the emergence of highly efficient bioinformatics technologies that are increasing the volume, variety, and velocity of data substantially. In this blog, we look at the use of serverless solutions like cloud computing in the medical industry and different cloud security and privacy challenges. 


The centralization of data in the cloud raises many concerns relating to safety and privacy for individuals and healthcare providers. Notably, it provides the attackers with a single hot-zone to steal data and capture data-in-motion, and transfers data ownership to cloud service providers. Therefore, individuals and healthcare providers lose control of sensitive data. As a result, privacy, security, efficiency, and scalability worries are preventing the widespread adoption of cloud technology in this global industry.


Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information


When it comes to the healthcare industry and patient-professional relationships, few things are as important as privacy and confidentiality. This is an act of ensuring that patient data is kept completely disclosed to unauthorized organizations and users.


First, to ensure protection from unauthorized access or misuse of private patient medical information, establishing identity ownership is required. The ownership of healthcare information can be protected by a combination of encryption methods that lead to protected healthcare information that can be sent, accessed, or removed without the joint consent of all parties involved in the ownership/creation of health information.


Patients may allow or refuse to share their personal information with other healthcare providers. To facilitate the seamless sharing of patient data throughout the healthcare system via the cloud, the patient may assign rights to healthcare professionals according to the role or qualifications held by the appropriate user to share certain information with that user.


However, transferring data control to the cloud leads to an increased risk of data compromise, as data is available in an additional number of places to multiple groups. Due to the increasing number of groups, devices, and applications involved, there is an increase in the data being compromised. Moreover, the threat of data breach can damage patient/professional relationships and interfere with proper medical diagnosis and treatment.


To make this relationship work, it is necessary for the patient to trust the healthcare system to protect the privacy of their data. If a patient feels that the information they are providing to the doctor is not protected and that their privacy is threatened, they may be more selective about the information they provide. Of course, privacy and confidentiality can be achieved with reliable cloud security solutions with robust access controls and tight encryption techniques.


Benefits of Cloud Computing for the Healthcare Industry


Cloud computing is a new technology that will have a huge impact on society as a whole. With increased accessibility to computer resources and infrastructure, the healthcare industry is expected to adopt an information-centric model, while facilitating communication, collaboration, and communication between various healthcare providers.


Additionally, the cloud could help the healthcare industry provide more value. It can offer faster, more flexible, and less expensive applications and infrastructure. This exciting technology would also assist in maintaining, managing, protecting, and sharing electronic health records, laboratory and pharmacy information systems, and medical images. Overall, patients will receive better care due to updated health records and ongoing communication between different healthcare providers. Aside from the lack of standards, regulations, and interactivity issues, major barriers to large-scale adoption of cloud computing by healthcare providers are security, confidentiality, and reliability issues.


The cloud has many benefits.


  • Cost savings: no need to buy hardware and expensive software. Savings include direct costs of purchasing hardware and software as well as support and maintenance costs.
  • Improved patient care as a result of ongoing patient communication with various healthcare stakeholders. Patient details are available whenever and wherever doctors can diagnose and evaluate them.
  • Energy-saving: There is no need for expensive data centers in buildings.
  • Data availability: information is available to all healthcare stakeholders such as doctors, clinics, hospitals, and insurance companies.
  • Powerful disaster recovery: in an emergency, almost all cloud service providers provide timely assistance and recovery.
  • Research: The cloud is a repository of data that can be used to support national research, disease control, and epidemics.
  • Resolving resource shortages: doctors in remote areas can use telemedicine to conduct consultations.
  • Fast shipping: software and hardware programs can be used almost immediately.


Why Effective Cloud Security Is So Important


Cloud computing offers multiple opportunities and challenges. Like all other IT systems, the cloud has a variety of security issues and concerns. Often operating in an open and shared area, it is vulnerable to data loss, theft, and malicious attacks. Weak cloud security is one of the key issues preventing the full incorporation of cloud computing in the healthcare industry. Healthcare professionals have many reasons to distrust the cloud, for example, they cannot give away power to their secured medical records.


Cloud providers often store their data in different data centers located in different parts of the world. This shows a clear advantage, because data storage in the cloud will be redundant, and in the event of attempted theft, various data centers will help to recover from disasters.


On the other hand, this same benefit can create a security challenge because data stored in various locations will be prone to theft. Generally speaking, there are many security risks associated with the use of cloud-based failures to distinguish visible users, identity theft, copyright infringement, and improper encryption are among the security concerns.


The cloud has many limitations:


  • Availability and reliability: the service may be slow or disrupted depending on the strength of the Internet connection. This will greatly affect the user experience.
  • Collaboration: there is a need for certain levels to achieve effective communication and collaboration between the various forms of healthcare providers.
  • Security and privacy: an open and shared environment is prone to data loss and theft.
  • Law and regulations: the widespread adoption of cloud computing requires laws, regulations, and ethical and legal frameworks.
  • Limited control and flexibility: there is limited power to data ownership due to its breadth. Cloud applications are often standardized and custom software can be difficult to acquire.


With effective cloud security solutions from a reliable and trusted provider, these concerns and vulnerabilities will soon be a thing of the past.




Security is one of the major problems preventing the rapid adoption of cloud computing technology in the healthcare industry. The power and benefits of cloud computing far outweigh its dangers and threats. Security needs are difficult to meet without significant investments in infrastructure and personnel. The problem is that security equals poor consumer convenience. In other words, the more complex security measures are, the more comfortable consumers are, and as a result, will not be inclined to use cloud service.


Moreover, with specialized fields emerging that sit at the cross-section of computer science and medical research that produce vast amounts of data, effective cloud computing solutions are becoming increasingly necessary. The use of Immunoinformatics for efficient antibody discovery is a good example, as it requires efficient processing and storage of huge amounts of data, utilizing cloud computing and intensive computational methods to define new hypotheses related to immune responses.


Making digital transformation or moving organization data to the cloud is a strategic and complex decision. Before moving data to the cloud, security challenges should be minimized. Before choosing a cloud security provider, the following questions should be asked:


  • Is the ISO / IEC 27017 provider certified?
  • Is the provider compliant with privacy management practices?
  • Are providers trained in risk management and risk management?
  • Does the provider perform a periodic safety check?


To find out more about cloud security solutions in general and to understand up to date certifications such as ISO 27017, read our previous blog post here:

Cloud Security and ISO 27017

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Cloud Security and ISO 27017


Cloud Security and ISO 27017

As we move forward in the 21st century, old-school business practices have been replaced by more sophisticated systems and processes that increase the speed and accuracy of operations but leave organizations at greater risk to modern threats like cyberattacks. What may seem like an innocent database of corporate customer information is actually a great asset for hackers.


For companies that rely on the cloud for the storage of sensitive information and critical cloud native processes, dependable cloud security solutions, preferably in line with ISO standards, are imperative. 


Moreover, with an increasing number of companies utilizing cloud native principles to host and deploy applications via the cloud, the security of their cloud-based infrastructure becomes even more paramount.


Cloud Security


Cloud security is a cyber security discipline devoted to protecting cloud computing infrastructures. This includes keeping data confidential and secure across all Internet-based systems, applications, and platforms. Protecting these systems requires the combined efforts of cloud providers and customers who use them, whether individuals, startups, or multinational commercial enterprises.


Cloud providers host services on their servers through an always-on internet connection. Since their business relies on customer loyalty, cloud security measures are used to keep customer data confidential and secure. However, cloud security is also partly in the hands of customers. Understanding both of these frameworks is critical to a healthy cloud security solution.


What is ISO 27017?


How can your organization continue to enjoy the speed and efficiency of cloud storage while maintaining a secure cloud infrastructure and protecting your customer data? This is where ISO 27017 comes into play.


It is a security standard and technique designed for users and cloud service providers that ensures a safer cloud-based environment and minimizes the risk of security problems. It is also used for integrating cloud-based security controls used by or provided by an organization. It is a set of security controls based on the ISO 27002 guidelines that govern the safe and efficient operation of cloud services that keep your organization and your customer data safe from external threats. ISO 27017 captures all the risk-based thinking and security considerations needed to stay online and applies them directly to the security of cloud storage.


We understand that maintaining advanced cloud security systems can be a complex and time-consuming process, with the problem being exacerbated in the case of small organizations that do not have the resources to hire someone specifically for this job. ISO 27017 helps to ease the burden on the organization by introducing a management team with primary risk areas to manage and a set of proven best practices to secure your cloud systems.


Why Is ISO 27017 Important?


Quality assurance of Cloud Storage Information Technology such as ISO is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, if an organization’s systems are to be compromised, fines and sanctions may prove to be a significant threat to the survival of a business. Depending on the country, there are strict penalties for organizations that have failed to properly protect their networks and cloud infrastructure, let alone the irreparable damage to the organization’s reputation in the eyes of their customers.


A report from tech giant IBM states that on average, data breaches cost $3.8 million to completely repair. For example, British Airways has been fined in excess of £180m (revised to £20m) for violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) customer data protection laws. British Airways was aware of its 429,000 customers accessed by an unauthorized third party and is now paying a hefty sum for failing to protect its systems.


Misconfigured or improperly secured cloud storage systems are one of the most common causes of data breaches, and they add in the range of $500,000 in damages, meaning organizations do not yet see the value of properly securing cloud storage and internal networks, or the consequences of failing to do so. Implementing the ISO 27017 system ensures that the cloud storage used by your organization is configured according to the highest standard of cloud security to nullify any potential breaches.


Second, it is important to show your customers that your organization does take seriously the threat of data breaches, being on the front foot when it comes to rectifying any shortcomings in its information technology department to ensure that customers are comfortable providing their information to your organization. Cloud security management is an easy area to outclass competitors in, while simultaneously boosting customer confidence in your ability to keep their personal information secure.


Why Should my Organization Get Certified to ISO 27017?


If you are an organization working as a cloud storage provider or using cloud storage within your operations, ISO 27017 is critical to ensure you are using the best, most up-to-date security practices. In many cases, it is necessary to qualify for certain major projects and governments, as they will only consider working with organizations that have a systematic and proven approach to risk reduction while providing seamless cloud-based solutions.


Certification Benefits


  • You will be considered for large, lucrative projects reserved for companies with comprehensive cloud storage security infrastructures that maintain customer trust by delivering on promises and exceeding expectations regarding data protection.


  • You will gain a more complete understanding of your online systems and operations


  • You’ll be able to actively address system vulnerabilities 


  • Encourage the confidence of consumers and stakeholders in your ability to protect their information or programs


  • Introduce a strong sense of accountability


  • Empower employees with a purposeful information security mission statement


  • Surmount regulatory barriers in the context of online operations


  • Enjoy informative decision-making consistent with risk-based thinking and a consistent and effective cycle of improvement


Is ISO 27017 Certification Worth It and Should You Upgrade?


To summarise, ISO 27017 provides very useful guidance that should be followed by both cloud service providers and their customers. While it is useful for providers to have independent certification to indicate compliance with this high security standard, it does not completely remove the responsibility from the customer.


In any event, ISO 27017’s predecessor, 27001, is a perfect adequate basic standard for all cloud-based service providers that want to protect their information and is easily the most popular worldwide. With the introduction of 27017, comes the decision whether to upgrade.

It is definitely appealing to companies that offer cloud solutions and want to cover all the angles when it comes to cloud security, but there are factors to consider, including cost and viability.

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