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Regulatory and Security Risks When Deploying Fintech in a Public Cloud

Fintech in a Public Cloud

In this article, we give a brief, high-level overview of regulatory and security challenges you need to address when deploying a fintech service in a public cloud.

The Benefits of Fintech in a Public Cloud

In some ways, fintech is like any other technology. The faster you move, the more competitive you’ll be, and there’s no faster way to get a fintech service up and running than deploying it in a public cloud. You don’t have to wait for hardware to arrive—you just click and go. You can be up and running in a matter of hours.

Since you’re not purchasing any hardware or software, public clouds also require less cash upfront. That’s especially valuable in the start-up phase where money is tight. It’s difficult to reproduce the redundancy and scalability of the public cloud with so little capital. If you’re launching a SaaS fintech, there simply isn’t a more cost-effective way to do it.

Perhaps the best reason to deploy your fintech service in a public cloud is the wide array of available turn-key services. Every service available from a public cloud service providers (CSP) is one less service you have to develop. These include basic services like computing, storage, encryption, and identity & access management (IAM).

Public clouds have become very sophisticated and go way beyond just basic services. Today, many offer options specifically useful for fintech companies, such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) services, as well as one-click security and regulatory compliance.

But just because public clouds come with quick-to-deploy security and regulatory solutions, that doesn’t mean your job is done. You still have some important decisions to make there, regardless of your CSP.

Regulatory and Security Risks in a Public Cloud

Even though there may be one-button compliance, you still need to know which button to press. In other words, you are still responsible for compliance, which means you need to be up to speed on all your security and compliance requirements.

The same holds true for cyber security risk. Does PCI-DSS apply to your fintech application? How about HIPAA, FedRAMP, GDPR, or FIPS 140-2? Unfortunately, you can’t always get the answer to these questions from your CSP.

To make matters even more complicated, you cannot be sure you are compliant even if your CSP claims you are. A good example of this is data storage location.

When deploying in a public cloud, you often have the option of where on the globe to store your data. Companies will frequently choose different regions to store and backup their data to ensure geographic diversity. What you may not realize, however, is that your compliance requirements are determined by where your data resides. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that the compliance requirements for the data in those two locations are completely different. Will your fintech service be compliant in both?

Regardless of how many tools are available from your CSP, at the end of the day, both security and compliance requirements in a public cloud are your responsibility.

Fintech Companies in a Public Cloud

As challenging as deploying a fintech saas solution in the public cloud is, those challenges are not insurmountable, judging by the number of fintech saas companies who have deployed there.

 

Here is just a partial list of financial services firms that have built on AWS. Notice that these are some of the top fintech saas companies in the world:

  • Allianz
  • Barclays
  • Capital One
  • Coinbase
  • FINRA
  • Liberty Mutual
  • NASDAQ
  • Robinhood
  • Stripe

 

Here is a list of firms built on Azure:

  • BCI
  • Manulife
  • HSBC
  • US Bank
  • BNY Mellon

 

Here is a list built on Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

  • Revolut
  • Goldman Sachs
  • PayPal
  • Bloomberg
  • Equifax
  • Blackrock
  • Citi
  • Charles Schwab

 

As you prepare to deal with regulatory and security risks, like the fintech companies above have done, you can break down the challenge into three phases. The first is preparation. Here, you’ll access vulnerabilities, develop security and compliance programs, and appoint dedicated staff.

Next, you’ll implement the measures. These include things like due diligence, sanction screening, suspicious activity reporting, and transaction monitoring.

Finally, you’ll need to have continuous monitoring for security and risk compliance in place. This includes things like employee training, automating processes, and scaling programs.

Summary

If time-to-market is one of your critical metrics and/or cash is in short supply, deploying your fintech service in a public cloud is your best option. But beware, there are security and compliance challenges ahead, which we will discuss in more detail in the next article: The Price of Success.

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Should You Care About NERC CIP?

NERC-CIP-ostridelabs

Introduction

The objective of this article is to give you a quick overview of NERC CIP and to help you understand whether it applies to your organization. The article also details the potential consequences of not being in compliance with NERC CIP when you are required to be. Finally, it also discusses compliance in the cloud and other ways to be in compliance with NERC CIP.

What is NERC?

If it has a control system, you can be sure hackers somewhere have tried to attack it. And while it may not be the first system that comes to mind, the electric grid that provides power to North America has a control system and it is extremely vulnerable to attack. That’s where NERC comes in.

NERC, or the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), “is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the effective and efficient reduction of risks to the reliability and security of the grid. NERC’s area of responsibility spans the continental United States, Canada, and the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico.”

NERC has been around since the early 1960s, long before cyber-attacks were of any concern. But they are now, which is why NERC established NERC CIP.

What is NERC CIP?

Up until the Energy Policy Act of 2005, NERC regulations were voluntary. But the Act gave NERC the authority to establish mandatory regulations. In 2008, they created NERC CIP, or Critical Infrastructure Protection, which is a compliance framework designed to mitigate cyberattacks on the electrical grid.

NERC CIP consists of standards, 12 of which are subject to enforcement (and six of which will be subject to enforcement in the future). Of the 12 current standards, 11 focus on specific areas of cybersecurity. These topics include security controls, training, incident reporting, change management, etc. The twelfth standard is concerned with the physical security of the electrical grid.

Each of these standards details requirements which must be met to be in compliance with NERC CIP. Many of these requirements are for documentation, like plans and policies. Also included are Violation Severity Levels, which detail what constitutes a violation of a requirement and how severe that violation is. Compliance enforcement can take several forms, including audits, self-certification, spot-checking, and even violation investigations.

Does NERC CIP Apply to My Company?

If your company is involved with bulk electronic systems (BES), there’s a good chance NERC CIP applies to you. According to NERC, BES includes “all Elements and Facilities necessary for the reliable operation and planning of the interconnected bulk power system.”

More specifically, BES applies to generation and transmission elements operated at 100kV or higher. Elements included here are transformers; generating resources (including plants and facilities); Blackstart Resources; dispersed power-producing resources aggregating greater than 75 MVA; and static or dynamic devices designed to absorb reactive power.

There are also some exclusions you should know about in which NERC CIP does not apply which you can find here. But generally speaking, if your company is involved in any of the activities detailed above, you are responsible for complying with NERC CIP.

Even if your company doesn’t own any of the BES assets, you may still have to comply. For example, independent system operators (ISO) and regional transmission organizations (RTO) don’t own any assets but are responsible for running the BES. They too fall under NERC CIP. In practical terms, if your contractors, suppliers, or subsidiaries are regulated, NERC CIP concerns you as well.

What Happens if My Company Doesn’t Comply?

If NERC CIP applies to your company and you are not in compliance, you can be fined up to $1 million per violation per day. “That’s the maximum fine; violators are often fined less but the fines are no less hefty.”

“One of the largest penalties incurred by NERC was a 2019 fine of $10 million for 127 violations, some of which had been ongoing for months and others which had only been occurring for a few days. The unidentified organization was cited for violations including not identifying and categorizing assets correctly, as well as violations for not including assets in Disaster Recovery Plans, among several other items.”

In this case, “NERC identified issues which were common to contributing to the violations across all the different standards, including:

 

  • Lack of management involvement in the NERC CIP compliance program
  • Divide between the security and compliance efforts at the companies
  • Organizational silos across business units”

NERC and ISO and NIST

The good news? Maybe you’re already in compliance. “Many of the controls that enable compliance for critical infrastructure operators are common across the standards, so implementing a control once enables compliance across multiple standards.”

NERC, along with companies such as Microsoft, have even mapped many of these control standards to each other. In particular, they have mapped NERC CIP to NIST 800-53 to ISO27001. So, if your company is already implementing the controls applicable to either of those other two standards, there’s a good chance you’re already in compliance with NERC CIP.

NERC CIP Compliance in the Cloud

If your company must comply with NERC CIP, and you have some or all of your control systems in a public cloud, you might be wondering how you can be sure your business is compliant. The short answer is, it depends.

The question isn’t whether public clouds are natively compliant with NERC CIP. The question is, do they provide the proper capabilities for their clients to be NERC CIP compliant if they choose? The answer in the case of two of the three major public cloud providers is yes.

AWS provides a freely-downloadable user guide to support compliance with NERC CIP standards. “The guide provides power and utility customers a path to get started planning their migration to the AWS Cloud and making cloud part of their CIP Compliance program.”

Microsoft’s Azure offers a similar NERC CIP compliance guide and cloud implementation guide. According to the company, “Microsoft has made substantial investments in enabling our BES customers to comply with NERC CIP in Azure. Microsoft engaged with NERC to unblock NERC CIP workloads from being deployed in Azure and Azure Government.”

As of writing, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) does not explicitly state their compliance status, so one probably has to undergo the checks for their platform with Google Partner to ensure their status.

One last thing to consider when deploying NERC CIP systems in the cloud. Just because the public cloud provider can be made compliant, doesn’t mean all of your third-party integrations are compliant. You will have to address each of those on a case-by-case basis.

Summary

This article introduced you to NERC CIP, who it applies to, different ways to comply, and what happens if you don’t comply. The article includes links to many resources where you can find more details on complying with NERC CIP.

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Configuring and scaling data platforms when doing cloud native application development

OSTRIDE_Configuring and scaling

Configuring and scaling data platforms when doing cloud native application development

To succeed in evolving, software-driven markets, organizations must optimize the way they design, build, and use applications and data platforms. Along with increasingly popular cloud-native applications, data platforms are a big part of companies’ cloud infrastructure as a whole and, therefore, are an integral component of their cloud native application development cycle.

 

Faced with immense and ever-growing amounts of data being generated at quicker and quicker rates, software developers need to pay particular attention to the scalability of their data platforms and applications. This is one reason why K3s has become so popular, as it improves the flexibility and scalability of cloud native applications due to its lightweight container properties and minimal resource requirements, differentiating it from K8s. They must also design and configure platforms and cloud native applications that can handle an increasing number of concurrent users. It’s not easy and is a constant challenge, but developing for scalability is an indisputable necessity.

 

What is a data platform?

 

While we have looked at cloud native application development in previous blog posts, we haven’t considered the data platform which some consider to be the backbone of the modern, data-focused, cloud infrastructure.

 

A data platform is a comprehensive and necessary solution for consuming, processing, analyzing, and presenting data created by the many systems, applications, processes, and infrastructures of the contemporary digital enterprise. While there are a plethora of solutions and tailor-made applications for managing various aspects of the data lifecycle effectively, a true data platform ensures end-to-end data management.

 

A data platform goes much further than providing simple business intelligence statistics. While it does deliver relevant data to enhance an enterprise’s decision-making, a true data platform collects and organizes many more types and configurations of data across the company, including not only integral data used for security and privacy, but also technical IT operations data. Essentially, a complete data platform has the ability to manage ALL the data a company ingests or generates.

 

Data platforms are composed of data storage, servers, and data architecture. Aside from that, there are data consumption needs, data consolidation, and the ETL procedure.

Businesses routinely face challenges with data management as a whole, including the consolidation of diverse data types stored in various silos, cloud and on-premise servers. This is where effective data platforms show their worth.

The purpose of a data platform is to provide real-time insights through detailed analytics in a scalable, cost-efficient, and secure way. The most efficient data platforms can be held across distant geographies and in hybrid-cloud environments to strengthen business continuity plans. 

 

For a definition of cloud native applications, see this article

 

Why data platforms need to be built and configured for scale

 

Today, the majority of the fastest-growing and most successful businesses are data-driven in some way or another. From more online visitors to an increased desire for analytics, one way or another, data is always being generated that needs to be securely stored. While data frequently appears to be the answer to many business problems, its formidable nature, from its assortment of technologies, skill sets, tools, and platforms, can be complicated and hard to manage. 

Data’s complexity and businesses’ raised demand for it is an added challenge as it becomes more challenging to prioritize, grow the team, recruit leading talent, keep costs down, and satisfy clients and stakeholders. 

 

Whatever the reason for scaling a data platform, whether that be for an increased user or data volume, there are two many strategies: Vertical and Horizontal.

 

Vertical Scaling

Possibly the most straightforward way to scale is to do so vertically – deploy on a more advanced cloud server with more CPU power and memory. 

However, there are functional limitations to what can be accomplished through vertical scaling alone. Firstly, even the best machines and cloud servers may not be able to tolerate the immense data volumes and workloads required by modern cloud native applications. Secondly, the power and capacity required to effectively operate the necessary data platform will probably not be too cost-effective. 

Capacity management for single-server architectures can also be challenging, particularly for data platform solutions that will have inconsistent workloads. Having the capacity to manage peak loads could result in wasteful underutilization throughout off-hours. In contrast, having too little server capacity may cause performance to slow significantly during high usage. Moreover, expanding the capability of a single server architecture implies buying an entirely new machine or expanding cloud server storage.

In short, while it is crucial for cloud native applications and data platforms to utilize the full potential of the hardware or server on which it was deployed, vertical scalability on its own isn’t enough to achieve anything above the most stationary workloads.

 

Horizontal Scaling

For the reasons provided above, most institutions pursuing considerable scalability for their data platform will deploy on hybrid cloud architectures, scaling workloads and data volumes “horizontally” by spreading the load across multiple servers. Utilizing K8s, developers have found this to be most effective with the added benefit of more secure cloud storage.

Software developers will understand that no two workloads are identical. Some modern cloud native applications may be used by millions of users concurrently, with a lot of small transactions per second. Others may have only hundreds of users, but with petabytes worth of data. Both scenarios are very taxing workloads, but they demand different scalability strategies.

 

Conclusion

 

With constantly increasing amounts of data being generated, from more data-intensive apps and at quicker rates, developers are now required to pay particular attention to scalability when designing and building their data platforms and cloud native applications. Developers are primarily utilizing vertical and horizontal scaling methods to achieve this scalability by moving to a more advanced cloud architecture or spreading the load with a hybrid model.

 

Footnote:

 

Git Kubernetes, or git revert, is now one of the most popular commands among developers for its universal undo function. It doesn’t completely reverse the original command, however, as it is related to a specific commit. It doesn’t take away a commit from the versions history, alternatively, it creates a new commit with inverted content, reverting the project to the former state before the commit.

 

Soon, we will begin posting content on the ever-popular GitHub.

 

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How you can establish SaaS security thresholds when doing Cloud Native Application Development

Ostride Labs for SaaS

How you can establish SaaS security thresholds when doing Cloud Native Application Development

Cloud-native applications have been pinned as the future of software development due to their steady increase in proliferation over recent years. The Cloud-Native Computing Foundation calculated that there were about 6.5 million cloud-native developers active in 2020, a marked increase from 4.7 million in 2019.

 

New technologies used for developing cloud applications, including Kubernetes, containers, and serverless architectures, are changing the way companies build and deploy them. While the steady growth of cloud-native SaaS applications has accelerated the pace, efficiency, and success of business, this modern approach to development has introduced a myriad of new cloud security concerns. 

 

While cloud-native applications are inherently more beneficial than their on-premise counterparts, These new sets of security risks can’t be mitigated by applying traditional approaches to SaaS security. 

 

So, how can you establish effective SaaS security thresholds while doing cloud-native application development? 

 

What are cloud-native applications?

 

First, let’s remind ourselves of what ‘cloud-native’ refers to and what cloud-native applications are.

 

Cloud-native is a contemporary approach to creating, deploying, and running software applications that utilize the resilience, flexibility, and scalability of cloud computing. ‘Cloud-native’ comprises the different tools and techniques used by developers to create applications for the public cloud, rather than the conventional architectures suited to private data centers.

 

A cloud-native application, therefore, is one that is designed and built specifically for a cloud computing architecture. They are run and hosted in the cloud and are developed to leverage the intrinsic characteristics of a cloud computing software delivery model. 

 

Cloud-native applications utilize a microservice architecture that efficiently distributes resources to each service that the application uses, making it incredibly flexible and adaptable to a range of cloud architectures.

 

Satisfy both security and development objectives

 

The benefits of cloud-native application development are limitless, however, a lack of security continues to be one major problem. Modern development approaches and technologies, such as CI/CD, containers, and serverless, demand effective security that delivers immediate protection, earlier detection, and assurance that an organization’s cloud services fulfill security best practices, all while preserving speed and efficiency. 

 

 

Migrated security infrastructures aren’t cutting it 

 

Migrating applications to the cloud from traditional IT systems does not mean that organizations should accept a more vulnerable security stance in return for the conveniences and additional benefits that cloud computing provides.

 

There isn’t anything inherently less secure about public cloud infrastructures. In fact, cloud providers such as Google and Amazon adhere to the highest standards of security and compliance, taking their ‘shared responsibility’ very seriously, often exceeding what most private enterprises could maintain in their data centers. 

 

Security problems emerge from how businesses configure and use public clouds, especially SaaS (software as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service), and PaaS (platform as a service). Conventional application security measures often don’t work very well when using serverless or container architectures to create cloud-native applications.

 

Developers are adopting new codes of practice and techniques to establish effective security thresholds, as it’s clear that the key to this lies in the development phase of cloud-native applications.

 

How to establish SaaS security thresholds during application development – 3 steps

 

  1. Establish security infrastructure throughout development 

Before DevOps, dedicated security teams gave late-stage assessments and guidance before applications moved from the development phase into systems running in production. Security was frequently only considered toward the back end of development, creating substantial delays if issues emerged that required fundamental changes to the application. This attitude toward security is no longer acceptable in today’s more agile, cloud-focused development models, where efficiency, speed, and automation are key.

 

Developers are constantly under pressure to design, build, and launch applications quicker than ever and to frequently update them through automated procedures. To continually achieve these lofty goals, organizations now deploy applications developed on containers and functions straight into production, handling and overseeing them with orchestration tools like Kubernetes, and running them in the cloud. Consequently, productivity increases, but so does the security risk.

 

Hitting a balance between speed and effective security requires senior-level security officers to implement strategies to proactively address cloud-native security requirements with developers to make sure security infrastructures are thoroughly integrated into the software development lifecycle. Moreover, this allows businesses to catch security issues earlier in development without slowing down production.  

  1. Empower your developers the necessary tools 

Many companies still depend on traditional security instruments that can’t handle the speed, scale, and dynamic networking conditions of containers. The addition of modern, serverless functions heightens the problem by further abstracting infrastructure to supply a straightforward execution environment for microservices and applications. 

 

Cyber attackers search for misconfigured cloud infrastructure permissions and vulnerabilities in the serverless function code to reach services or networks that hold private information.

 

Enterprises can use CI/CD tools like Bamboo, Jenkins, and Azure DevOps to continuously develop, test, and ship applications. When utilizing containers to deploy cloud-native applications, developers can exploit base images and elements from internal and external repositories to accelerate their work.

 

Despite that, even container images from trusted and authorized repositories could possess vulnerabilities that can expose applications to attacks. The solution, and best first line of defense, is to provide developers and security teams with the necessary tools and techniques to block non-compliant images within the CI/CD pipeline.

 

Scanning images for vulnerabilities and malware in the development phase allows application developers and security teams to enforce the enterprises’ image assurance policies, block non-compliant images, and warn the developers of possible threats.

  1. Shared Responsibility

Another thing to consider is that the security of the application is somewhat reliant on the cloud provider. Moreover, due to the ‘shared responsibility model’, developers and security teams bear an extra burden when securing their application.

 

Organizations need to accept the new reality that specific aspects of security will need to be managed by their cloud provider, and others will remain with them. For example, Google takes the Shared Responsibility Model seriously and has invested heavily into it. This model allocates security of the cloud to the provider, who then tasks the customer (organization) with security in the cloud.

 

Specifics can change from provider to provider and service to service, but typically, the customer accepts responsibility and control of the guest operating system, including security updates and patches, as well as any other related software and the configuration of the cloud server. Ultimately, it’s a joint effort to achieve secure cloud-native applications and secure cloud storage.

 

Understanding and accepting this shared responsibility is essential to any cloud-native application developer establishing security thresholds during development. Not only important as a model for combined cloud maintenance and preservation, but also during the development cycle as developers can easily implement security thresholds and infrastructures using Kubernetes (GKE) specifically designed for cloud-native environments. Businesses should also understand that the security measures put in place by the cloud provider do not absolve them from their own accountabilities.

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Healthcare Data Migration and Cloud Solutions in the Medical Industry

cloud solutions in the medical industry

Healthcare Data Migration and Cloud Solutions in the Medical Industry

It’s been a long time coming, but the medical industry is finally embracing the cloud and all the benefits that come with it. For hospitals, migrating to the cloud wasn’t as straightforward as first thought. Considering the highly confidential data they handle, the effectiveness of cloud security has come into question. Moreover, the complex nature of cloud migration tools such as GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine) may have caused further confusion, putting many off adopting this new technology due to misunderstanding and worry. 

In terms of technological progression, healthcare is more often than not at the forefront. Consider nanotechnology or 4D ultrasounds, for example. On the other hand, development and investment in IT infrastructure usually falls behind other sectors. Cloud computing solutions are a prime example. The healthcare industry has famously been one of the last industries to take the leap. Until a couple of years ago, that is.

Medical organizations looking for a flexible yet secure solution for storing and accessing large collections of data are steadily shifting to cloud data migration.  

While increasingly lower setup and support costs are now big attractions of cloud storage, medical institutions can also benefit from the versatility that cloud data migration can offer.  

Community health management, value-based care, and an ever-growing mobile user base require a storage infrastructure that can scale easily without requiring cumbersome investments into time and capital.

To take advantage of the cloud, however, companies need to correctly plan for this data migration process. Creating an effective and efficient data migration roadmap involves deciding which datasets and applications need to be moved to the cloud and what tools are available to facilitate the migration process.

 

The challenges of cloud migration for the medical industry

The cloud is far different than what IT leaders and executives are used to deploying in their legacy infrastructure environments. Medical organizations should begin with a solid understanding of the processes involved and skills required at all stages of the migration journey, including management and maintenance requirements.

Security and privacy

These have always been the main objections put forward by healthcare organizations when things like EHRs (Electronic Health Records) are at stake. However, the success and safety of online banking, for example, has quashed privacy concerns about the online storage of confidential medical records. Today’s leading cloud providers, including Google and Amazon, employ highly advanced protection and security far beyond that used by typical hospitals to keep their client’s data secure.

The confidentiality and privacy of medical information are, obviously, of paramount concern here. To learn more about medical privacy and the cloud, read our recent blog post discussing the benefits of cloud computing and effective cloud security solutions here: https://ostridelabs.com/medical-privacy-and-cloud-computing-security-solutions/

Data location and ownership

While there are strict rules relating to the use of the cloud for healthcare data, regulations preventing its use have slowly been relaxed. Today, there is an open market where healthcare providers can choose where and how they manage their data online.

Funding models

Funding models continue to be an obstacle, with hospitals and organizations working on ways to more easily procure cloud technologies. In a lot of cases, an IT policy may mandate a strategy that looks to incorporate cloud technologies, but the procurement department will not approve such purchases. Until these barriers are defeated and the benefits of cloud migration can be easily communicated on a larger scale to entire organizations, hospitals’ pathways to the cloud will stay blocked.

 

Cloud Migration Solutions

Simply, data migration includes:

 

  • Transferring data from legacy systems to the cloud.
  • Restructuring data for PII/PHI separation and encryption. 
  • Making sure the systems are made to be cloud-native.
  • Ensuring security via efficient network isolation controls with the least privilege. 

 

The migration process can be viewed as numerous iterative cycles where each application and its data is moved from its origin to its new cloud destination, one by one. To ensure a smooth transition, a tactic employed by many cloud solution providers is to use machine learning to find errors or misplaced data points when collecting data from multiple applications. 

 

Similar automation can also assure compliance with corporate policies and security standards established by the CTO, CIO, or CISO for the company. The DevOps team can also include phase gates to make sure policies are obeyed throughout the data life cycle.

 

For compliance purposes, PHI/PII data has to be physically isolated from the rest of the operational data. With the appropriate application of data encryption and least privilege combined with physical separation of data per tenant in the case of multi-tenant systems, the chance of data being held at ransom can be reduced. This also significantly reduces the absolute damage in case of a breach.

 

Furthermore, an open API standard system enables a security team to view how interactions are taking place between data repositories and how APIs are interacting with various databases. To allow applications to interact while remaining separate and secure, the mechanism working the API system needs network isolation control and the enforcement of least privilege. This provides the ability to observe the interference between databases and analyze possible threats.

 

Lastly, encrypting all communications is important. No organization can expect consistent vigilance from those using internal or external communication channels. At some point, patients, employees, or providers may share sensitive information. Encryption ensures that this information can not be retrieved by a wrongdoer.


The keys to a successful cloud migration

Cloud migration is complicated but necessary for healthcare organizations. Proper planning and consideration of workloads, applications, and the future of the industry, allow organizations to embrace the cloud for eventual data expansion and flexibility. These five key considerations can also be thought of as an effective roadmap to successful cloud migration.

  1. Choose The Right Cloud Service Partner 

While some medical organizations already have the internal technical expertise to successfully perform a cloud migration, the majority will have to procure the assistance of external partners. When selecting the right partner, it’s important to examine their past experience on similar projects, previous clients, and their readiness to address inquiries or concerns specific to your cloud migration. 

  1. Create a Long-Term Migration Strategy

Data migration should not be employed as a quick fix. While it may solve immediate problems, healthcare organizations should be making projections for at least five years in the future when making important decisions. For example, in the case of cloud migration, it is crucial to plan for future capacity requirements and forecast tech trends. Without considering long-term needs, healthcare providers will most likely have to engage in another expensive data migration in the next couple of years.

  1. Define the Data for Migration

Not every cloud migration demands a total relocation of all applications and data available. In a few instances, some legacy systems and data might be left in their place or transferred to a different location from the other data assets due for cloud migration.

Because of this, taking a comprehensive inventory of all current data assets and determining whether or not to move them is necessary. When data has to be transferred, the selected destination must be identified and defined. Above everything, this will limit delays and confusion when the migration reaches a critical stage and changes become more expensive and challenging to implement.

  1. Keep Data Integrity

This ensures that data stays consistent, accurate, and reliable while migrating between systems. Sufficient error checking and validation methods must be in place to make sure that data is not changed or duplicated during the transfer.

The majority of the work needed to maintain data integrity should be done at the pre-planning stage. It shouldn’t be assumed that there will be a direct relationship between fields and data types. For example, mistakes could occur that would leave patient records inaccessible or incomplete. Implementing a manual check to monitor the success of an electronic migration process is essential.

  1. Consider using a Hybrid Cloud Solution

Utilize using a cloud-based storage solution to augment your on-premises storage, instead of relying on one or the other. The majority of cloud service providers now offer better overall security and access restrictions than the best equipped internal IT teams can provide. Cloud infrastructure allows healthcare organizations to swiftly acquire more storage and computing resources as needed.

While regulatory compliance rules require healthcare providers to have in-house servers for the storage of sensitive data, most patient health records can actually be stored and managed in the cloud. Using a hybrid system that incorporates both internal servers and a cloud infrastructure may prove to be the best solution for large healthcare providers.

 

Conclusion

Migrating data and applications to the Cloud is not just a new, interesting initiative. There is actually a pressing urgency for healthcare organizations to move their data to the cloud and to make their systems cloud-native. In today’s technological environment, however, these providers must take a broader view to ensure lasting security and efficiency.

 

Healthcare organizations will gain plenty of advantages from the cloud once their data is successfully migrated. It will make their data more readily available while lowering operational costs and maintaining privacy. However, it’s important to carry out comprehensive planning before undertaking a cloud migration.

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