Healthcare is an organizational sector that is making significant inroads in cloud development. Around the globe, cloud-based innovations are regularly taking place that are actively transforming the way hospitals store information, interact with patients and attempt to cure diseases. But according to several recent reports, security concerns are a big issue that is impeding healthcare development in the cloud. These concerns regarding security could be alleviated by a broader push for enterprise cloud computing among healthcare providers.

Annual convention calls attention to security issues impact medical cloud
Taking place between May 5 and 8 in Las Vegas, EMC World 2014 is the site of a series of conversations about the state of technology and how it interacts with the world we live in. Central to the event's agenda is the issue of big data, and how to deal with the influx of it in enterprises across industrial sectors. As far as big data goes, hospitals and other healthcare providers harness the technology as much as any other operation. Whenever a patient goes in for a checkup, for instance, that single visit generates its own set of data that must be permanently stored. The sheer amount of information being produced by hospitals these days can seem as cumbersome as it is helpful. How, after all, are medical organizations supposed to keep track of this ever-expanding database?

The answer, as many hospitals have discovered, lies with a cloud service provider, and all the flexibility and space that it affords. But as EMC senior director of Industry Solutions Andy Crowne told ZDNet, medical professionals face a unique challenge when it comes to storing patient data, since that information must be kept rigorously secured at all times. Fewer things are more private than individual health information, and that privacy must be guarded accordingly. For healthcare providers, finding a space in the cloud that promises stringent security is proving to be a challenge. Crowne said.

"Healthcare started at platform zero, which is paper based, bypassed platform one completely because it was too expensive — and they couldn't afford mainframe systems except for big government entities — and now they're stuck at platform two and thinking about how to get platform three where cloud and mobile is," he said.

What is hindering this push to the third platform Crowne describes is the assurance that patient information in the cloud will be safe. Despite the myriad ways the cloud has improved day-to-day functions and long-term gains for businesses across industries, a general perception still abounds that cloud computing is somehow less secure than a physical platform. When it comes to big public clouds, this view is largely correct. Such open cloud platforms are susceptible to breaches and have experienced attacks. But a broad mistrust of the cloud does not account for the other virtual platform that's out there: the enterprise cloud. With its uniquely crafted security standards and individualized focus, the enterprise cloud is best for businesses that value protection above all.