Securing the Pharmaceutical Cloud

In a nutshell, cloud pushes infrastructure maintenance to external IT services, outdoing alternatives in both cost and performance. Like other businesses, pharmaceutical companies have wanted to make the most of this incredible technology. However, there are regulatory concerns.

An example is the FDA’s 21CFR11, says regulatory consultant Arik Gorban. In that rule, the FDA listed stipulations to make data more reliable and accessible so that it can be audited while it’s stored by the organization, he explains. The code stresses that all environments must be verified and information must be safeguarded from unintended parties.

Is The Cloud Secure?

Many people think the public cloud is essentially transparent, easily accessible to criminals and snoopers. “People are used to having walls around their servers and data storage,” says cloud security expert Gilad Parann-Nissany. “In the cloud, you manage your servers and disks using a browser, and the concern is that the bad guys can access it with equal convenience.”

Parann-Nissany explains that people should be concerned about unauthorized access but should know there is a standard, accepted way to install the equivalent of datacenter and server walls in a virtual environment: encryption. Rather than having actual walls of a building and hardware, encryption creates walls out of algorithms, resulting in much better protection if implemented correctly – as exhibited by the ClearDATA healthcare cloud.

Does Somebody Have My Keys?

You want your keys in a different location from the data that you are encrypting. One way to achieve that is with split-key encryption, which uses dual keys in a similar manner to safety deposit boxes. Access requires both keys.

What About Cloud Provider Bankruptcy?

You want to make sure that you are able to take all the information and transfer it into another system if necessary.

By actually going through that process, similar to a fire drill, you can confirm that you will be able to do it if you have to in the future.

You have to be careful when you look at the various cloud options, says Parann-Nissany, but for the average SMB, designing those architectures in-house simply can’t compete with the low cost and incredible speed of the cloud.

Power Of Cloud For Pharma

The big data concept of precision medicine, now a huge federal White-House-backed project called the Precision Medicine Initiative, is attempting to personalize medicine by running data analytics on EHRs and other information (as authorized by participants).

Geneticist J. Craig Venter says that cloud isn’t just interesting but revolutionary, half of a two-pronged breakthrough that will add years to the human lifespan. “There are two thresholds we just passed that actually allowed us to form human longevity,” comments Venter. “One was the sequencing technology that just barely passed the threshold of cost and accuracy, but the most important changes are in the computer world.”

The Right Pharma IT Partner

Is your pharmaceutical company ready to experience the groundbreaking potential of cloud in a robustly secure environment?  ClearDATA, the world’s only healthcare-exclusive cloud, minimizes your risks for industry-best protection from PHI breaches.

Thank you for subscribing!