Securely Store Epic EHR Data by Migrating to Google Cloud

Beth McElroy Thumbnail
Beth McElroy
Published February 16, 2024

Healthcare leaders and their technology teams are cautiously embracing cloud-based ecosystems to store and manage electronic health records (EHR). In understanding and applying these technological advancements, they must protect sensitive patient data against a backdrop of increasing cyberthreats and stringent regulatory requirements. This daily operational reality highlights the need for security protocols and innovative solutions to ensure continuity of patient care and operations, as well as data integrity.

To address this balance of EHR convenience and protection, we brought together experts from F5, Google Cloud, and Epic for The Benefits and Security Considerations of Moving Healthcare EHR to Cloud webinar. They shared their insights and discussed the solutions and technological collaborations that fortify cybersecurity and patient trust.

Increased risks as cybercriminals exploit EHR weakness

The healthcare sector is besieged by relentless cyberthreats, with data breaches doubling in the past three years.1 This surge underscores a stark reality: healthcare remains a prime target for cybercriminals.

The consequences of breaches and attacks are not just data loss but operational paralysis—canceled surgeries, extended hospital stays, and even ambulance diversions. There are internal security obstacles as well, as many organizations are still relying on outdated technology and infrastructure. And they are navigating the complexities of integrating emerging technologies into these ecosystems. Avoiding misconfigurations is essential as well. Improperly setting up user access controls, incorrect network configurations, or inadequate security settings may lead to data breaches, system downtime, or non-compliance with regulatory standards.

The call to action is clear: healthcare organizations must prioritize a comprehensive and proactive cybersecurity strategy. The collaboration between F5, Google Cloud, and Epic demonstrates the industry's commitment to delivering innovative solutions that outpace cyberthreats.

Harness the power of partnership for enhanced EHR security

The F5 and Epic partnership is anchored in a mutual dedication to enhancing healthcare security, availability, and performance. F5 web application firewall (WAF) solutions help protect Epic applications from various web-based attacks, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other OWASP Top 10 threats. Additionally, recognized as an Epic honor roll recipient for trusted platforms, F5 solutions:

  • Improve EHR security with F5 BIG-IP Advanced WAF
  • Reduce the risk of misconfigurations with F5 templates with F5 BIG-IP Application Services Templates (FAST)
  • Improve scalability and availability with F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) and F5 BIG-IP DNS

With F5, Epic applications running in distributed or hybrid cloud environments get a vital global threat intelligence layer to proactively protect against emerging threats with F5 behavioral analytics.

Google Cloud infrastructure and services enhance this shield, offering a HIPAA-compliant environment that ensures patient data is secure and easily accessible to authorized healthcare providers. And that’s crucial in an industry that creates 30% of the world's data, a number expected to surpass manufacturing and financial services by 2025.2

Google Cloud Healthcare Data Engine, launched in 2021, supports interoperability and real-time data consolidation across various systems, ensuring HIPAA compliance. It offers a secure, interoperable platform to connect data from multiple sources, including Epic.

With F5 security expertise, the alliance ensures that as healthcare data becomes more interoperable and mobile across platforms, it remains protected. Together, these technologies work to deliver a healthcare experience that is technologically advanced and inherently secure.

Deliver better care with secure and available EHR data and AI

Managing and securing vast amounts of data can be daunting, but the possibilities are endless when done right. Combining Epic EHR applications with Google Cloud Healthcare Data Engine provides new opportunities to improve patient care.

  • Personalized treatment with artificial intelligence (AI): AI's ability to sift through massive datasets personalizes care and heralds a new era in healthcare, providing predictive insights that lead to proactive treatments and improved health outcomes.
  • Real-time patient data analysis: By analyzing patient records in real time, AI empowers healthcare providers with immediate insights, enhancing decision making and patient care coordination while boosting operational efficiency through automation and resource optimization.
  • Healthcare innovation: AI is a catalyst for innovation, driving drug discovery and the development of new treatment options, all bolstered by clinical decision support systems that offer evidence-based recommendations.
  • AI in population health management: AI shines a light on population health by identifying trends and risks, paving the way for targeted interventions that promise to elevate the health outcomes of communities at large.

Advance clinical excellence with F5, Google Cloud, and Epic EHR

In an era where healthcare is as much about managing data as it is about managing disease, leaders are turning to cloud-based solutions to manage EHR securely and efficiently.

F5 security and application delivery solutions, in concert with Google Cloud, provide healthcare IT teams with advanced infrastructure and security services, establishing a formidable line of defense against cyberthreats. Edge security services protect EHR applications with a dynamic and robust defense mechanism against cyberattacks before they can reach core infrastructure.

Moreover, F5 solutions are cloud-agnostic, offering seamless integration across multicloud and hybrid environments, ensuring that security protocols remain consistent regardless of the infrastructure mix. This ensures that as Epic applications operate across diverse platforms, from on premises to the cloud, the security framework provided by F5 and Google Cloud remains robust and uniform, safeguarding critical healthcare applications for better care.

To dive deeper, we invite you to watch The Benefits and Security Considerations of Moving Healthcare EHR to Cloud.

For more information about the F5 collaboration with Google Cloud and Epic, go to or


1 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2022 Healthcare Cybersecurity Year in Review, Feb. 2023

2 IDC, Data Age 2025: The Digitization of the World from Edge to Core, 2018