When it comes to information technology, the biggest concern often raised is user-data confidentiality. Hundreds of times this issue has been raised. And even today, people are not 100% confident about their data security on different platforms and while using different technologies.
Particularly when we talk about healthcare software and devices, maintaining patient’s anonymity remains a challenge. In the USA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that IT professionals have to comply with when creating mobile or web applications.
When we talk about different mobile and web technologies, each has major drawbacks and advantages over the others. In this article, we’re going to talk about Ionic and how it makes it easier to create such apps.
Protecting Sensitive Information
Getting rid of sensitive information is not a practical solution at all. Your instincts might tell you to get rid of the data that can be stolen and may later cause problems for you, but that’s not how you create usable apps and software.
You must find a way to store user data or sensitive user formation because not all of them are disposable. Some of it might be required in the future, such as encrypted authentication tokens.
This opens up two more challenges: 1. Performing security authentication while enabling biometric authentication to enable auto-login. 2.Storing encrypted data at rest using managed encryption keys.
To enable biometric authentication while keeping the protection and encryption of a user session token on, we use iOS and Android keychain/Keystore APIs.
With these APIs, apps can store sensitive values in secure regions on the device and use powerful encryption to ensure that decryption is only performed with a valid biometric scan.
This way, data is only encrypted at rest; it can’t bypass jailbroken devices.
Ionic offers numerous perks in this regard. You don’t have to implement these complex APIs and security flows when using this framework. There are off-the-shelf solutions in the form of Identity Value and Encrypted Storage that you can use to store sensitive user data.
Safe Data Transportation
Safe transportation of data is always a challenge. You don’t want any third party to interfere in the process and steal crucial bits of information.
To ensure this, all network requests must have SSL (aka HTTPS). Further, every endpoint must be protected by SSL. Your app must not embed resources, such as images using HTTP://.
Make sure you use APIs such as pp Transport Security (ATS) to ensure SSL usage across the app.
Another technique you can use for further tightening the security during data transportation is SSL pinning. This technique locks your app into one corresponding valid certificate for a network endpoint.
This way, you can ensure no man-in-the-middle attack can happen that might result in data theft.
Screen Data Protection
It often happens when a user suspends an app, operating systems show a snapshot of the last state of the app for different operating systems.
Patient’s sensitive information can be leaked through these snapshots. You can prevent this by making sure your app listens for app lifecycle events and obscures screen contents.
TOS & Accessing Sensitive APIs
For a health app, it’s common to access health-related data on any device. iOS uses HealthKit for this purpose while Android uses Google Fit.
You must make sure that any data accessed using these and other APIs follow your app’s HIPAA requirements.
Also, make sure you follow Apple’s and Google’s TOS while using their APIs.
It’s critical to follow these details if you’re developing an enterprise-level app, any negligence can land you and your company in legal troubles. If your app accesses more data than it needs, how will you justify it upon any investigation?
Mobile technologies emphasize heavily on the front end of an app. Ionic follows the same pattern. But that doesn’t mean you can be complacent about the back-end when it comes to HIPAA.
Make sure you work with the back-end team and monitor each and every aspect in terms of HIPAA compliance so no compliance violations occur during the process.
Ensure 100% HIPAA Compliance With Ionic
Now, you might be wondering how you can take care of so many things? And there’s no room for error. So one mistake, and your app is done for good.
Don’t worry, you can do this with Ionic. Many healthcare companies are using this framework to build successful HIPAA-compliant apps across iOS, Android, and the web.
The platform offers a number of open sources and commercial components designed to enable developers with web development backgrounds to switch to mobile app development.
It has some key drop-in security features so you can easily adopt the best practices and meet HIPAA compliance goals.
Beyond that, its Encrypted SQLite solution offers a high-performance data store with powerful encryption support. Using the Identity Vault, encryption can be safely managed on varying devices.
And last but not the least, it features Auth Connect that provides a secure authentication flow for popular auth providers like Pind, Azure, AD, etc.
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