5 Keys for Medical Website Hosting – Part 1: Security

secure web hostingWhen choosing a web hosting company for your medical practice, it pays to work with a company that understands the priorities and risks when dealing with personal health information (PHI). It is important that your healthcare organization has a 100% secure and HIPAA compliant website, and that you are provided with all the features you need for the security of patient information.

Instead of going with a cheaper, “general” hosting option, selecting a hosting company that specializes in healthcare web hosting will ensure that all of your organization’s needs are met to help you reduce online risks, maintain compliance, and increase revenue.

This five part article series about web hosting will outline the main concerns of medical website hosting, with security discussed as the first point.

1. Security

Secure web hosting is essential for any website, but it is especially crucial for medical websites in order to protect patient information. Lack of security can result in serious problems, such as identity and medical record theft, so security should be the primary concern as medical website hacking is on the rise.

Medical record theft can lead to negative outcomes considering that personal identifiers from records that are stolen, like names, addresses, and social security numbers, can be used to obtain credit cards or commit tax fraud. According to Reuters, stolen health credentials go for 10 to 20 times the value of a stolen credit card number. Stolen credit cards can quickly be canceled, compared to medical identity theft that may not be immediately noticed by a patient or provider, making stolen medical records much more valuable.

An important feature that Medical Web Experts provides for maintaining security is SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer. Having a SSL certificate on your website provides an encrypted path between the browser and the server, which is a must for gathering sensitive information. However, having an SSL alone does not necessarily mean that your website is secure. We also use encryption as it allows data to be securely transmitted and protects patient data wherever it travels or is stored. Firewalls are also set up on the server to prevent unauthorized access to your website.

In addition, Medical Web Experts only uses encrypted secure connections (SSH) with private keys. FTP (File Transfer Protocol), or the standard protocol used to transfer computer files between a client and server on a computer network, is never used because the connection is insecure. Backups are also implemented in order to protect information in case something happens to the website.

Selecting a website hosting company that prioritizes security in medical website hosting is key to reducing online risks and increasing your organization’s revenue. In part two of this web hosting series, the benefits of HIPAA compliant hosting are showcased.

View the complete web hosting article series here:

Are you interested in medical website hosting for your healthcare organization? Medical Web Experts currently manages nearly 20 servers for our client’s websites, with 24/7 response to emergency issues and real-time server monitoring. Contact us here, or call 1-866-932-9944, to learn more.

Gretchen Kalthoff is a writer and marketing specialist for MWE. She is an expert in healthcare marketing and health IT with a special interest in increasing patient engagement through social media and healthcare technologies.

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