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Healthcare Data Safer in Cloud Than On-Premises: Security Survey

Many healthcare IT professionals and executives believe data is now safer in the cloud than on-premises, according to survey results from cloud services company Evolve IP.

The survey asked more than 180 healthcare respondents where they felt their data was safest during the following risk scenarios:

  • Environmental disasters: 61 percent said they felt their information was safest in a private cloud, compared to 27.5 percent in a public cloud and 11.5 percent on-premises.
  • Cyber-attacks: 58.5 percent preferred a private cloud to safeguard their data versus 32 percent on-premises and 9.5 percent public cloud.
  • Hardware failures: 58.5 percent preferred private clouds compared to 24 percent public cloud and 17.5 percent on-premises.

The survey also revealed 60 percent of respondents said they preferred private cloud infrastructure over public clouds for data security.

It’s important to note: Private cloud definitions can vary from one IT executive to the next. ChannelE2E’s definition of a private cloud involves dedicated infrastructure for one specific customer — running on-premises or in a third-party data center.

What Does the Future Hold for Healthcare IT?

The Evolve IP survey provided insights into current healthcare cloud adoption trends and future cloud deployment, including:

  • Data backup, servers/data centers, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and Microsoft Exchange and Office were cited as the top deployed cloud services for healthcare organizations.
  • On average, healthcare organizations have between two and three services (2.75 average) in the cloud.
  • 81 percent of respondents said they plan to leverage new or additional cloud services in the next three years.
  • The top cloud services that healthcare organizations expect to deploy over the next three years include data backup (48 percent), Exchange/Office (27.5 percent) and phone systems (27 percent).

Data security represents a top concern for healthcare IT, according to Evolve IP — especially amid HIPAA audits and other compliance issues. As such, healthcare organizations may continue to target cloud services to store and protect sensitive information.

“As evidenced by their currently deployed services and planned adoption trends, healthcare organizations have recognized the significant benefits of the cloud,” Dave McCrystal, Evolve IP’s healthcare vertical marketing manager, said in a prepared statement.

Evolve IP is a familiar name to loyal ChannelE2E readers. The company has acquired multiple MSPs and CSPs as part of a strategy to push deeper into specific vertical markets and regions.

Healthcare and Encryption

Meanwhile, workload security provider HyTrust recently found many healthcare organizations that use public clouds do not encrypt their data.

A HyTrust survey of 51 healthcare and biotechnology organizations revealed 38 percent of healthcare organizations that have data deployed in a multi-cloud environment that included Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are not using any form of encryption. The survey also showed 25 percent of healthcare organizations using the public cloud are not leveraging data encryption technologies.

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