Beyond The Cloud: The Unsung Player in Data Security

| August 12, 2016

Data SecurityAnyone unaware of the importance of securing personal data in the high-tech world of the 21st century has either been studying with some yogi in a cave in the Himalayas, living in a shack in the Canadian wilderness or has been lost in the Australian Outback since…well, since, at least, the turn of the century. Sometimes it seems that a week doesn't go by without a new revelation about the Russian government, Chinese gangsters or some hacker without a cause breaking in and stealing personal information stored on various corporate servers.

In the 1990s, we started learning about viruses, Trojan horses, and worms that could corrupt our computer's system or destroy our data. With the turn of the century we began to learn that any electronic device, with programs that could access the internet, was at risk for invasion and that there were those who were willing to crack open any computer or cell phone to get the data contained therein. Today, we have botnets to worry about along with everything else. And the list is only going to continue to grow.

Being concerned and responsible, people bought software to protect their personal computers. If people were part of a large enough entity that invested in networks, they needed more powerful software to protect their system. If they were a very large entity, they hired departments of security professionals to keep the stored data safe and sound.

In the last few years, we began to hear about something called The Cloud. The Cloud promised to transform the very concept of computing. It would do so by increasing computing power and increasing data storage. By and large, it has lived up to that promise. Of course, any place that data and programs are stored is fertile ground for hacker attacks. For many, the issue of Cloud security is resolved by contracting services with those capable of dedicating resources to fend off the attacks. For those who purchase their own “Cloud,” they find it necessary to also factor in the cost of paying for additional security.

The struggle between security and those trying to bypass security is an ongoing war that is likely to extend far into the future. Although the hackers, particularly those with vast resources available, occasionally are successful, by and large, security generally emerges as the victor. And, for the most part, people feel secure. But is this sense of security justified?

Not really. As it happens, there is a third element in this modern age of data sharing that is often overlooked. Data transmitted between a Cloud-based solution and the network or computer where work is being done needs to be secured as well. Those who want to steal or do mischief know perfectly well that it is during transmission that data is at its most vulnerable. Any program that includes transmitting data between two or more points should be held accountable for insuring safe and secure transmission. It is only by using advanced encryption protocols that an individual or business has any hope of foiling those determined to cause harm.

From its inception, MyOutcomes has been keenly aware of the need to secure data where it is stored, where it is used and, once again demonstrating forward-thinking solutions, during transmission. Patient data is not only de-identified during transmission, but it is encrypted. And these security protocols are engaged whichever direction the data is traveling, as well as for whatever device the user is using.

MyOutcomes, the web-based application of PCOMS, is a leader for developing secure applications for psychotherapy. MyOutcomes enables the therapist to administer the ORS (Outcome Rating Scale) and the SRS (Session Rating Scale), secure in the knowledge that their client's data is safe. The ORS and SRS easily brings the client's voice into the therapeutic session, allowing the client to share their perception of their own functioning and the therapeutic relationship. And this can be accomplished with the therapist and client being assured that their data is being given the best protection available.


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Category: MyOutcomes, ORS/SRS, Outcome Rating Scale, Session Rating Scale

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