HIPAA eCommerce

The 8 Best HIPAA-Compliant Web Hosting Choices in 2024

Updated   |  10 min read
Key Takeaways
  • ECommerce hosting providers that protect HIPAA data must provide additional protective measures.
  • The best eCommerce HIPAA hosting providers will sign a business associate agreement, or BAA. This means they will accept responsibility if a breach is their fault due to their HIPAA-compliant web hosting failing.
  • An eCommerce store that hosts HIPAA data must provide additional security beyond standard security that protects credit card data.
  • ECommerce platforms must work together with the HIPAA hosting provider to provide the best security.

HIPAA compliant web hosting to follow privacy and security rules.

 

As businesses continue to transfer more of their operations online and handle sensitive data, HIPAA-compliant web hosting has become increasingly important. In order to protect electronic protected health information (ePHI) and meet legal requirements, companies must take extra steps to ensure the security of their website. A HIPAA-compliant eCommerce hosting provider is a great solution for ensuring this security and peace of mind.

Hosting HIPAA-compliant websites is a big deal. Approved HIPAA hosting offers added levels of protection that regular web hosts do not. Not only do these providers provide encrypted connections and secure servers, but they also have measures in place to protect against cyber-attacks and malicious actors.

Also, as many businesses are legally required to use a HIPAA-compliant host if they handle protected health information (PHI), using one can help you stay compliant with all applicable laws.

HIPAA-compliant hosting helps healthcare technology systems with web hosting.

Many HIPAA-compliant eCommerce web hosts offer customizable plans so you can tailor your security measures to your specific needs. This ensures that you have the flexibility to provide the right amount of protection required for your business without wasting resources on unnecessary features.

With the increasing number of cyber threats facing businesses today, companies need to invest in the latest technologies in order to keep their data safe and secure. By choosing a reliable, HIPAA-compliant host, businesses can rest assured knowing that their data is being protected in the best possible way.

Let's take a look at the best HIPAA-compliant hosting providers available, including their positives and negatives.

HIPAA hosting on a HIPAA-compliant server is vital for HIPAA compliance.

Hosted vs Self-Hosted Platforms for HIPAA Compliance

The difference between hosted and self-hosted eCommerce platforms is primarily the level of control that you have over your security measures.

Easy Setup with Hosted

With hosted eCommerce, a third-party provider takes the responsibility for setting up and managing the necessary security measures that conform to the HIPAA Security Rule. This includes installing secure servers, configuring encryption technologies, and setting up data backups for healthcare providers and other medical institutions.

Hosted solutions are ideal if you do not want to be directly involved in the management of your security measures or if you do not want to invest in additional hardware or software licenses.

Take Full Control

On the other hand, a self-hosted HIPAA-compliant hosting solution gives you full control over your security measures. With this option, you would need to purchase and configure all of the necessary hardware and software required to meet HIPAA compliance.

Self-hosting also requires frequent monitoring of your system in order to maintain data protection standards and ensure that any changes made are consistent with applicable laws. In this way, you can ensure that you have the best HIPAA hosting available.

Budget, Capability, Choice

Ultimately, when it comes to determining whether hosted or self-hosted HIPAA-compliant hosting is right for you, it is important to consider both your budget and technical capabilities. For companies that require extra flexibility or are unable to take on additional overhead costs due to limited resources, hosted solutions may be more appropriate than self-hosting.

However, if you have the means and expertise needed for self-hosting, then this can provide an excellent way of keeping data secure while providing complete control over how it is managed.

Web hosting service.

Why It's Important to Get the Best eCommerce Web Hosting for HIPAA Websites

For those in the healthcare industry, it's imperative to have the best HIPAA-compliant hosting solution for HIPAA compliance. This is because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare providers to maintain appropriate levels of security for handling patient data, including confidential information such as protected health information (PHI).

To stay compliant with HIPAA standards, organizations must ensure that their websites are securely hosted on servers configured with the right encryption methods and other critical layers of protection.

Having the best website hosting for HIPAA compliance is important not only from a regulatory standpoint but also from a practical one. A secure website hosting solution provides peace of mind when it comes to protecting sensitive data and confidential records while also ensuring reliable uptime and performance, even during peak times.

By choosing from among the best HIPAA-compliant hosting partner, business owners can rest assured that their websites are secure and their data is protected against malicious attacks. Not only does this help protect their business from potential liabilities, but it also shows clients and stakeholders that they prioritize security within their organization.

Ensure HIPAA compliance with a business associate agreement.

What Happens If HIPAA Hosting Is Breached?

If a HIPAA-covered entity or its business associates suffer a data breach, it must be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 60 days. Depending on the size and scope of the breach, penalties can range from fines of thousands of dollars for small breaches to millions of dollars for larger ones.

In addition to financial penalties, the HHS may also require corrective action plans in order to ensure that similar breaches do not occur in the future. These plans typically involve developing additional processes and procedures to better protect patient data and training employees on how to handle PHI properly. A company in breach must also let their customers know that the breach occurred, which seriously affects customer confidence and loyalty.

Even the best HIPAA hosting solutions can be breached, which is why you should seek out a BAA (business associate agreement). This is a legal document detailing how the company providing the HIPAA hosting will be responsible for the breach, should one occur.

HIPAA-compliant hosting involves a business associate agreement (BAA)
It's Not Just Web Hosting to Worry About...

Every part of your infrastructure must be HIPAA compliant. No matter which web hosting you choose, Clarity can help guide you on your HIPAA journey.

Must-Have Features for HIPAA-Compliant Hosting Services

Deciding which HIPAA-compliant services you need can be difficult for a standard eCommerce site, where the most important data to protect includes names, addresses, and PCI DSS-covered information (i.e., credit card numbers). But when it comes to protecting HIPAA data, the necessary security and features become even more important. Choosing from among the best eCommerce hosting providers can be a big deal.

Do you need a free SL certificate? What about an included website builder for your eCommerce store? When reviewing web hosts, make sure you include the following options in the plans you're considering.

A list representing the features of hosting.

Regular, Automated Backups

Automated backups are essential for eCommerce hosting to ensure their customers’ data is secure and intact in case of any unexpected event, such as a cyber-attack or hardware failure. Automated backups also help reduce the time and effort required to manually back up data, making it easier and faster to restore everything in the case of an emergency. Also, automated backups can save costs associated with manual backup processes.

The HIPAA security rule dictates secure electronic protected health information and compliant web hosting.

Staging Environment

This stage is the replica of an eCommerce site used to test and make changes before you start releasing live to customers. By having a staging environment, you can make as many changes as you want without fear of messing up your live website. Whether you're making small or large changes to your site, it's a good idea to have a staging environment to avoid cascading, catastrophic changes.

Staging environment from the best eCommerce hosting provider.

SSL Certificate

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are critical for any eCommerce website hosting as they provide an encrypted link between a web server and browser, allowing sensitive data to be securely transmitted. SSL certificates help to protect transactional information such as credit card details, personal information, and passwords from malicious third parties.

Most hosting companies offer SSL certificates that can be purchased and installed on the server, or provided as part of a managed hosting package. Some will provide a free SSL certificate. To ensure maximum security for customers, it is important for businesses to use the latest version of an SSL certificate and keep their software updated regularly. Secure shell access should also be evaluated as an additional security measure.

An SSL certificate for healthcare providers to follow HIPAA guidelines.

Uptime Guarantee

Uptime is essential for eCommerce hosting, as any downtime can severely impact a business’s bottom line. A prolonged period of downtime can result in lost revenue and customers, as people tend to lose trust in businesses that cannot provide reliable service. ECommerce web hosting must be mindful of their uptime and aim to deliver 99.9% uptime or better in order to maintain customer trust and loyalty.

HIPAA-compliant services may include a business associate agreement BAA.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are networks of servers located around the world that deliver content like images, videos, and webpages to visitors based on their geographic location. This helps to reduce latency and improve eCommerce website performance for global visitors. CDNs provide this service by caching copies of static assets, such as images, on edge servers that are stored closer to end users.

Using a CDN can help speed up page load times and reduce bandwidth consumption, providing a better user experience for website visitors. Additionally, most CDNs offer added security features such as DDoS attack protection and SSL encryption to add further HIPAA compliance.

Protect All Client Information

HIPAA-eCommerce is about protecting PII and financial information. Work with Clarity to secure both.

How to Choose the Best HIPAA eCommerce Hosting Providers

Choosing the best eCommerce hosting for your online store depends on a variety of factors, including the size and complexity of your store, your budget, and your technical knowledge.

When looking for an eCommerce hosting solution, it’s important to consider features such as server performance, scalability options, and customer support. Many hosting companies offer various server configurations to meet different performance needs, so it’s worth researching what type of hardware is available and how it will affect page load times. You should also make sure that the eCommerce hosting is able to scale with you as your business grows.

Another important factor to consider when choosing eCommerce hosting is customer support. While most hosting provides basic support such as HIPAA-compliant email services or chat support, some may offer more comprehensive plans, which include additional assistance with setting up a secure environment or troubleshooting technical issues.

HIPAA-compliant environments are a vital part of HIPAA-compliant solutions.

The Most Popular eCommerce Hosting Providers

If you're not hosting your own website on-premises—which is something that is becoming less and less common as Cloud hosting becomes more reliable—you'll need to choose an eCommerce hosting company. You have many options, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Following is a list of the most popular eCommerce hosting providers in no particular order.

HIPAA-compliant hosting can also include HIPAA-compliant email services.

TrueVault

TrueVault is a trusted platform that offers HIPAA-compliant abilities for organizations seeking secure data hosting solutions. It specializes in providing a secure environment for storing sensitive healthcare data, ensuring regulatory compliance and data privacy.

TrueVault offers a reliable and secure hosting solution with strong HIPAA-compliant abilities. While considering the potential cost and limited customization, TrueVault's focus on security, data protection, and adherence to HIPAA regulations makes it a suitable choice for organizations seeking to store and secure healthcare data.

Positives:

  • TrueVault offers HIPAA-compliant hosting, meeting the stringent requirements for safeguarding patient data.
  • Their infrastructure and security measures are specifically designed to protect sensitive healthcare information that adhere to the HIPAA Security Rule
  • TrueVault provides robust access controls and encryption to ensure data privacy and confidentiality.

Negatives:

  • Limited customization options might restrict certain aspects of the hosting environment.
  • Organizations are responsible for managing other aspects of HIPAA compliance, such as policies and employee training, in addition to using TrueVault's services.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a prominent cloud computing platform that offers HIPAA-compliant capabilities for organizations requiring secure hosting solutions. AWS provides a range of services designed to meet the stringent requirements of the healthcare industry, ensuring the protection of sensitive patient data.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers HIPAA-compliant hosting solutions with strong security measures and a broad range of services. While considering the potential complexity and cost, organizations can benefit from AWS's scalability and reliability for hosting healthcare applications while adhering to HIPAA regulations.

Positives:

  • AWS offers HIPAA-compliant hosting services, meeting the regulatory standards for safeguarding healthcare data.
  • Their robust security measures and infrastructure help mitigate risks and ensure data privacy.
  • AWS provides a wide range of services and resources, offering flexibility and scalability for healthcare applications.

Negatives:

  • The complexity of AWS services and configurations may require technical expertise for setup and management.
  • Organizations are responsible for managing other aspects of HIPAA compliance, such as policies, procedures, and employee training, while using AWS services.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure, formerly known as Windows Azure, is a cloud computing platform that positions itself as 'The cloud for modern business.' It competes strongly in the realm of cloud application hosting and offers HIPAA-compliant hosting solutions, making it an ideal choice for hosting .NET applications. Azure's service is divided into three main categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) for virtual machines, web hosting primarily for static sites, and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

Positives:

  • Azure provides HIPAA-compliant hosting solutions, catering to the healthcare industry's regulatory requirements.
  • It offers a range of services, including virtual machines and web hosting, catering to diverse application hosting needs.
  • Azure is certified according to various control frameworks such as HIPAA/HITECH and ISO 27001, ensuring compliance and security for customers.

Negatives:

  • The responsibility for end-user solutions lies with the Azure subscriber and is not included in Azure's compliance processes.
  • The division of Azure's services into multiple categories can be overwhelming and confusing for some users.

RackSpace

Rackspace is a renowned provider known for its HIPAA-compliant abilities in hosting services. With a strong focus on security and compliance, Rackspace offers a reliable platform for organizations seeking to safeguard sensitive healthcare data. They provide comprehensive solutions tailored specifically to meet the stringent requirements of the healthcare industry.

Rackspace provides a reliable and secure hosting solution for organizations that require HIPAA compliance. While considering the potential cost and limited customization, Rackspace's expertise in compliance and robust security measures make them a strong choice for organizations looking to protect sensitive healthcare data.

Positives:

  • Rackspace offers HIPAA-compliant hosting, ensuring the protection and privacy of patient data.
  • Their robust security measures and infrastructure help mitigate risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Rackspace's expertise in compliance can assist organizations in meeting regulatory obligations effectively.

Negatives:

  • Limited customization options might restrict certain aspects of the hosting environment.
  • Organizations still bear responsibility for maintaining HIPAA compliance in areas outside of Rackspace's services.
 

HIPAA Solutions Made Simple

Clarity can help you plan every part of your HIPAA eCommerce project, including hosting.

Armor (previously Firehost)

Armor, formerly known as Firehost, is a reliable hosting provider offering HIPAA-compliant capabilities. Their services are specifically tailored to meet the stringent requirements of the healthcare industry. By choosing Armor for HIPAA-compliant hosting, organizations can ensure the security and privacy of sensitive patient data.

Armor's HIPAA-compliant abilities offer organizations in the healthcare industry a reliable hosting solution with strong security measures. However, the higher cost and limited customization options should be considered, and organizations must still address other aspects of HIPAA compliance to ensure full adherence.

Positives:

  • Armor provides robust security measures and infrastructure to protect patient information.
  • Their specialized focus on compliance enables organizations to meet HIPAA requirements effectively.
  • The expertise of Armor in handling HIPAA compliance can alleviate the burden on organizations.

Negatives:

  • Limited customization options might restrict certain aspects of the hosting environment.
  • Pricing can be more expensive than other options.

HIPAA Vault (formerly VM Racks)

HIPAA Vault (formerly VM Racks) is a service provider that offers HIPAA-compliant hosting solutions for healthcare organizations and businesses that handle protected health information (PHI). It ensures data security, privacy, and regulatory compliance by implementing strict safeguards and controls.

Positives:

  • HIPAA Vault provides HIPAA-compliant hosting solutions, meeting the strict standards for safeguarding patient data.
  • Their robust security measures and infrastructure help mitigate risks and ensure data protection.
  • HIPAA Vault specializes in HIPAA compliance, offering expertise and support for organizations navigating regulatory obligations.

Negatives:

  • This option offers limited flexibility in terms of infrastructure customization.
  • HIPAA vault requires regular updates and maintenance to ensure ongoing compliance.

Atlantic.net

Atlantic.net is a reputable hosting provider that offers HIPAA-compliant abilities for organizations seeking secure data hosting solutions. With a focus on security and compliance, Atlantic.net provides a platform specifically designed to meet the stringent requirements of the healthcare industry.

Atlantic.net offers a secure and reliable hosting solution with strong HIPAA-compliant abilities. While considering the potential cost and limited customization, their focus on security, regulatory compliance, and reliable performance makes them a suitable choice for organizations seeking to store and secure healthcare data.

Positives:

  • Atlantic.net offers HIPAA-compliant cloud storage and hosting, ensuring the protection of sensitive healthcare data.
  • Their infrastructure and security measures are designed to meet industry best practices and regulatory standards.
  • Atlantic.net provides reliable performance and uptime, essential for healthcare applications.

Negatives:

  • Using a cloud server like Atlantic.net requires reliance on the service provider for maintenance and updates.
  • This HIPAA cloud provider offers limited customization options for infrastructure configurations.

Liquid Web

Liquid Web is a reputable hosting provider offering HIPAA-compliant capabilities for organizations seeking secure hosting solutions. With a strong emphasis on security and compliance, Liquid Web ensures the protection of sensitive healthcare data. Their tailored services cater specifically to the stringent requirements of the healthcare industry.

Liquid Web offers a reliable hosting solution with strong HIPAA-compliant abilities. While considering the potential cost and limited customization, Liquid Web's focus on security, compliance expertise, and data protection makes them a solid choice for organizations looking to secure healthcare data in accordance with HIPAA regulations.

Positives:

  • Liquid Web provides HIPAA-compliant hosting services, meeting the regulatory standards for safeguarding patient data.
  • Their robust security measures and infrastructure help mitigate risks and ensure data privacy.
  • Liquid Web's expertise in compliance assists organizations in adhering to HIPAA requirements effectively.

Negatives:

  • The cost of Liquid Web's HIPAA-compliant monitoring and hosting may be higher compared to non-compliant options.
  • The Liquid Web limited customization options might restrict certain aspects of the HIPAA hosting environment.

Get the Best eCommerce Hosting Available

Choosing an eCommerce hosting provider to handle your HIPAA data isn't a decision that should be taken lightly. The sensitive data your customers are trusting you with must be protected to adhere to HIPAA law, not to mention protect your reputation. Failure to do so could be the end of your business.

Clarity specializes in HIPAA-compliant websites, and we can help you find the right method of securing your HIPAA data with the best eCommerce hosting provider that meets your needs. Whether that's with Cloud hosting or on-premises, we'll help you secure your data at every point of transfer and at rest.

FAQ

 

HIPAA hosting is the practice of securely storing and managing protected health information (PHI) in a cloud environment that meets the standards set forth by the HIPAA security rule. It involves using a specialized hosting provider with an infrastructure designed to meet HIPAA’s security requirements. This includes technology, policies, procedures, and physical safeguards that protect PHI from unauthorized access or use.

HIPAA-compliant hosting providers are critically important to ensure HIPAA compliance and will assist with your HIPAA compliance monitoring. A business associate agreement (BAA) is often necessary in order to make the hosting services legally responsible for security.

 

To make your server HIPAA-compliant, you need to ensure that the hosting environment meets all the security requirements set forth by HIPAA guidelines, specifically the HIPAA Security Rule. This includes an understanding of HIPAA’s administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that ensure proper HIPAA hosting.

You should also create risk management policies and procedures to ensure PHI is secure. Your provider must have a business associate agreement (BAA) in place with any third-party services used to process or store PHI, an agreement that states they are at least partially responsible for secure HIPAA hosting.

 

To make your website HIPAA-compliant, you need to ensure that the web hosting environment meets all the security requirements set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This includes an understanding of HIPAA’s administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. You should also enable encryption technology and secure passwords to protect PHI from unauthorized access or use. Additionally, your provider must have a business associate agreement in place with any third-party services used to process or store PHI. Finally, put in place measures to detect unauthorized access or misuse of PHI.

 

The cost of HIPAA-compliant hosting varies depending on the hosting provider and the features you require for hosting services.

Generally, providers will charge a base fee for their HIPAA-compliant server environment and additional costs for any services or features that require extra security and monitoring. When choosing a hosting provider, make sure they offer full compliance with all HIPAA rules and regulations, as well as regular monitoring of the network and systems to ensure continued HIPAA-compliant hosting.

 
There are three basic types of HIPAA hosting.
  1. Shared Hosting - allows multiple websites to be stored on a single web server, making it the least expensive and most common type of web hosting.
  2. Dedicated Hosting - gives you complete control over your own dedicated server and is more expensive than shared hosting but offers more resources and customization.
  3. Cloud Hosting - combines shared hosting with virtualized resources which are spread over multiple servers in different geographic locations to provide an efficient, reliable, and secure solution for businesses needing a larger scale of hosting.

Which type of HIPAA-compliant hosting your choose will depend on your security needs, your budget, whether or not you require offsite backups, and much more.

 

Whether or not you need HIPAA-compliant hosting depends on the type of business you are running and how sensitive your data is. If you are dealing with medical information or any other highly confidential data, then you should consider using a HIPAA-compliant hosting provider for added security.

Most medical providers are legally required to use a HIPAA-compliant hosting if they handle protected health information (PHI). Failing to use HIPAA hosting could get an organization in trouble with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

 

There are several HIPAA-compliant hosting solutions that help with HIPAA regulations to protect electronic protected health information (ePHI), including Dreamhost, Bluehost, InMotion Hosting, Liquid Web, SiteGround, A2 Hosting, and GoDaddy. All of these providers offer secure servers and encrypted connections to ensure the highest level of protection for your data. Additionally, they all have upgrade options so you can tailor your security measures to meet your specific needs.

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Author
 
Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.