Security and the cloud

Why cloud solutions represent the best security approach today

At RSNA 2021, the topic of cybersecurity was front and center. One of the speakers on the topic, Dr. Benoit Desjardins, PhD, professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, explained how the global pandemic has intensified the risk for hospitals and healthcare facilities: the huge growth in technologies and services connected to the internet has created more targets for cyber attackers, and at the same time there are reduced resources to defend against them. In another session, Joshua Corman, chief strategist for COVID-19, healthcare, and public safety at the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), underscored the importance of cybersecurity for healthcare, where potential breaches or attacks have the possibility to harm patients, as well as cripple key systems.

The risks and uncertainty surrounding cybersecurity today beg the question – is it safer to keep your data and applications close, with on-premise solutions, or is cloud the safer option?

In some ways, there’s reassurance in knowing that your data, and the systems you depend on for your business operations, are located where you can physically see them, and that the tech professionals you rely on for support are just down the hall from your office. However, the truth is that this kind of local approach, with a mix of software applications running on various workstations, and a VPN setup for working remotely, can open you up to a multitude of security gaps – not to mention inefficiencies. Most on-premise cyber-attacks start with malware getting onto a device, or into a network, or they’re directed at known vulnerabilities. Many medical imaging departments, and radiology groups, do not have the in-house expertise to guard against an ever-changing lineup of potential cyber threats. So what’s the best way forward? Today, the best option to safeguard applications and data is cloud.

Highest levels of security

These are some of the reasons why cloud solutions offer the highest levels of security available today:

24/7 monitoring and record-keeping. A cloud-based network can offer a level of constant monitoring that’s simply impossible in media-based and client-server software worlds. Media such as CD/DVDs can even get lost or misplaced, and there’s little ability to determine exactly who has touched (or even altered) a record. This persistent dedication to optimal security and the attention paid to it over the cloud ensures peace of mind for users.

The ability to back up data at a secure location that’s geographically separate from the primary location.

The ability to apply a uniform, high level of security, privacy controls, and resources that can continually improve over time. By scaling security and controls over an entire network, individual practices and health systems benefit from a level of investment that they’d be unable to leverage on their own.

A single, integrated database platform that makes information available without the risks inherent in cobbling together multiple information platforms.

Another benefit of a cloud solution is the expertise represented in your cloud partner. While your in-house IT department might not have the bandwidth to stay on top of all emerging threats, your cloud partner will. With top cyber-security professionals on the team, you’ll have the benefit of their expertise, and solutions that are designed from the group up to defend against attacks.

Focus on security

There are increasing guidelines and legislation regarding cloud security. Security must be a top priority for any cloud player. A quality system to ensure security and patient safety is necessary. The system must also be secure by design, which means that every process (development, implementation, maintenance) is designed to keep the risks as low as possible. For the customers, it is important that they are well informed, about the technologies and processes, but also about the real risks and how they are dealt with.

For example, we have an ISO13485 and ISO27001 certification in which security and patient safety is guaranteed. These frameworks specify the processes, validations, etc. to cover every aspect of the organization. There are of course many technical aspects that are also audited by third parties, as well as the annual audit of the ISO quality systems.
If you’d like to learn more about security and the cloud, or about PACSonWEB web-based cloud solution, please contact us at

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