Windows Azure Now Offer HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA)

Windows Azure achieved the most important compliance milestone for health customers -- now, "enabling the physical, technical, and administrative safeguards required by HIPAA and the HITECH Act inside Windows Azure core services, and offering a HIPAA BAA to EA (Enterprise Agreement/volume licensing) customers and partners in the health industry," Microsoft announced.Earlier in 2012, Microsoft announced […]

Windows Azure achieved the most important compliance milestone for health customers -- now, "enabling the physical, technical, and administrative safeguards required by HIPAA and the HITECH Act inside Windows Azure core services, and offering a HIPAA BAA to EA (Enterprise Agreement/volume licensing) customers and partners in the health industry," Microsoft announced.

Earlier in 2012, Microsoft announced the availability of a BAA to Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online. Now the extension of BAA to cover Windows Azure core services is a significant accomplishment.

On July 24th, Microsoft says it has updated the Windows Azure Trust Center and made available a HIPAA BAA that includes Windows Azure breach monitoring and notification at the platform level for the following core services:

  • "Cloud Services (Web and Worker roles)
  • Storage (Tables, Blobs, Queues)
  • Virtual Machines (Infrastructure-as-a-Service)
  • Networking (Windows Azure Connect, Traffic Manager, and Virtual Network)," Microsoft informs.

"Covered entities can now confidently migrate and extend their datacenters on their terms into the public, private, or hybrid clouds, realizing immediate cost savings, organizational agility, and enabling collaboration across the care continuum," Microsoft stated.

While Windows Azure includes features to help enable customer's privacy and security compliance, "customers are responsible for ensuring that their particular use of Windows Azure complies with HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and other applicable laws and regulations," Microsoft adds.

Also, check out this video "The MyPictures Windows Azure Web Sites Sample," where Brady Gaster walks you through the process of setting up the MyPictures sample for Windows Azure Web Sites.

This sample application uses ASP.NET Web API and jQuery for the purpose of uploading pictures to Windows Azure Storage.

"The pictures are uploaded and stored in Windows Azure Blob Storage, and the metadata about those images collected through the jQuery/HTML 5 GUI are stored in Windows Azure Table Storage."