Cloud Computing–Myths and Risks

I remember coming across several “cloud” terms about a little over a year ago and for some reason came to the conclusion that “the cloud” was a complex, if not futuristic concept that had nothing to do with healthcare IT.  Boy was I wrong.


Cloud computing and storage, in my opinion, is not only the wave of the future and essential component of a true integrated, interoperable HIT system, but is a fairly simple and brilliant concept.  One takeaway from my HCI courses was how cloud computing is “the” solution for cost-effective, efficient storage of images.


There is much concern regarding cloud computing and privacy and security of PHI.  Andrew Stroka, president and CEO of Fischer International, speaks to this as he discusses myths and risks posed by cloud computing.



1.    Identity management in the cloud is less secure

Stroka argues the cloud is more secure as information is encrypted in the cloud as compared to on-site solutions that often contain unencrypted PHI.

2.  Dramatic changes to the infrastructure are necessary to house IdM in the cloud.

Infrastructure changes are not necessary; existing IT systems can be seamlessly integrated as if they were running on premise.

3.    On-premise identity solutions are more proficient than on-site solutions

The same functionality offered by onsite solutions can be achieved by     cloud-based, IdM solutions.  The difference is the hosting provider of a cloud solution is motivated to reduce the cost of hosting, necessitating better design and ease of maintenance.


Common Risks of Cloud Computing

1.    Access control policies that are not thorough. 

Threats and vulnerabilities stem from failure to enforce security policies and procedures.

2.    Lack of training.

Users must be educated regarding IT security to know how to secure their own information.

3.    Insider Threat

Internal users cause most data breaches and many unknowingly enable an external threat.


Cloud services are anticipated to be 20% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) through 2014.  Increased compliance, secure data and a safe, secure environment for patient care are experienced by providers who embrace cloud computing.

More on cloud computing:  define:Cloud computing – Google Search.


About Julie

My credentials include a Master's Certificate in Health Informatics, a CHPSE certification (Certified HIPAA Privacy and Security Expert), and certification in HL7 (Health Level 7). The multidisciplinary approach to equipping myself to enter the healthcare IT sector is consistent with my professional background in sales, management, healthcare, and recruiting. I also have a BA in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, which as been invaluable in my professional life for exceling in sales, change management, and laying down an excellent foundation from which I was able to build effective communication skills with professionals of all levels.

Posted on March 9, 2011, in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. the weaknesses, we need a stable internet connection in order to implement cloud computing

    • Hi Rezachandra–What happens to the data when the internet connection is intermittent? Are you speaking about data loss or the inability to conduct business–if there’s no connection, there’s no computing?


  2. the data is not problem….when we got instability internet connection, data failed to send

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