FTP Hosting – an overview
‘File Transfer Protocol’, commonly known as FTP, is a reliable protocol to exchange large volume of digital information from one computer to another. FTP hosting technique has simplified file transfer process over the Internet. FTP hosting comes with two components – FTP Server and FTP Client. Moreover, each FTP user will get a unique FTP account with user name and password. Irrespective of file type and file size, FTP account holders can upload the files in FTP Server through their FTP account. Similarly, FTP account holders can download copies of the uploaded files from FTP Server.
FTP hosting services provides complete security in file exchange process. Only authorized FTP account holders can view and access the files. Further, you can restrict a FTP account holder to access other FTP accounts. Irrespective of business volume, companies require to transfer files over the Internet. Though it is true that Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) provides the facility to share information over the Internet but due to its limitations, FTP became popular across the globe.
FTP Hosting for Health Care Services
In Medical Transcription or other Health Care Services, medical reports are stored and exchanged in digital format. The growing necessity of exchanging large volume of medical reports and files over the Internet allows the Health care Service providers to use File Transfer Protocol as an alternative of Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. After the introduction of Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996, extra guidelines are drawn for FTP hosting. All types of Health Care Services, who store and exchange medical files and reports over the Internet will fall under this Act and have to follow HIPAA regulation throughout the business process to ensure quality service and security of digital medical files and reports
Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA, is a set rule to protect health related electronic information. The effect of HIPAA rules is applied to all types of health care organizations and support services. According to Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act, all the health care organizations and support services should maintain necessary security measures to protect personal health information.
Medical institutes and support services prepares and stores health information of the patients in digital format. Based on the requirement, these digital reports are exchanged from one computer to another over the Internet. Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act ensures complete security of digital health information that includes – secure storage system and secure transmission of digital information over the Internet.
HIPAA Compliant FTP Hosting
The growing importance of Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act in health care sector has given the birth of HIPAA compliance FTP hosting services. The objective of HIPAA compliance FTP hosting services is to protect unauthorized people from accessing digital heal information or medical report.
Following are some general features of HIPAA compliance FTP hosting service:
- HIPAA compliance FTP servers are considered as highly secured data centers.
- The system will automatically generate and run several threads during transferring digital medical files from one location to another. This is known as Multi-thread File Transfer and makes this process faster than normal File Transfer Protocol.
- HIPAA compliance FTP hosting service comes with 128-bit transfer encryption. Digital files are transferred in the encrypted form. There is also another process – symmetric or secret key encryption, which encrypt files and upload them in the server with a unique ‘key’. The system will store the encrypted data in HIPAA compliance FTP server. Only the authorized person, who has that ‘key’, can download the encrypted digital medical report from the server.
- Like general FTP hosting services, the methods of uploading and downloading digital medical files are user friendly.
- HIPAA compliance FTP hosting services restrict anonymous FTP account holders from accessing the server.
- Unique user name and passwords for HIPAA compliance FTP account holders.
Some HIPAA compliance FTP hosting services provides ultimate security by using “Intrusion Detection System” and other security tools, which are compatible with all types of operating systems.
Advantages of HIPAA compliance FTP Hosting
The main advantage of HIPAA compliance FTP hosting services is data encryption. HIPAA compliance FTP hosting services will encrypt each data files in separate pieces of data, which are known as ‘key’. You have to use the software xTyFTP during the process of uploading medical records in the FTP server. The software will encrypt the digital file in the computer and provide the ‘key’ to the authorized user decrypt.
HIPAA compliance hosting services will store the encrypted file in the server. However, if any unauthorized user accesses the file from the FTP server, he/she will get the encrypted form and the content will remain hidden without the right ‘key’.
Apart from data encryption, which is considered as the core feature of HIPAA regulation, HIPAA compliance FTP hosting service requires secure procedure in data handling and serious maintenance of necessary policies, e.g., restricting unauthorized users from damaging digital information.