Security Features in Web Plus

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Web Plus is a highly secure application that can be used to transmit confidential patient data between reporting locations and a central registry safely over the Internet. Security is achieved by a combination of software features and network infrastructure.

Security Features of the Web Plus Application

Form-based authentication. Web Plus requires each user to enter his or her user ID and password to access the system.

Multifactor authentication can be implemented optionally by requiring users to enter a personal identification number and/or by answering challenge questions in addition to providing their user IDs and passwords.

Passwords. Web Plus provides several options to configure password attributes. These options can be set by the central registry administrator (see Role-Based Access below). Configurable attributes include—

  • Enforcing the complexity of passwords required to login to Web Plus by using a regular expression.
  • Keeping a password history and requiring new passwords to be different from the ones used before.
  • Setting password expiration to force users to change their passwords after a specified time interval.
  • Forcing users to change the password after the first login when the administrator resets a forgotten password.

Personal identification number (PIN). The PIN feature is an additional, optional security feature that accommodates the requirement of two-factor user authentication. When enabled on the systems preference page, the central registry administrator generates a unique random Web Plus PIN matrix for every user. To login, in addition to their user ID and password, users must enter a four-digit PIN based on coordinates from their Web Plus PIN matrix. Note: PIN Matrix coordinates are provided upon login, and the hosting agency must mail the matrices to users.

Challenge questions. The Challenge Question feature is also optional. When enabled on the systems preference page, the central registry administrator enters a series of questions each user must answer when the feature is initially enabled, and answer again upon login to validate the user’s identity. The number of challenge questions to answer for initial setup and login is configurable.

Role-based access. Web Plus grants users different levels of access depending on their role. Seven roles are defined in Web Plus—

  • Facility abstractor: Works in a local facility or doctor’s office and handles patients’ medical records. When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, the facility abstractor reports the case to the state’s central cancer registry.
  • Central registry abstractor/reviewer: Reviews abstracts submitted to the central registry for completeness and accuracy and may abstract additional data items from submitted text; also abstracts new cases.
  • Central registry administrator: Sets up the local facilities with access to Web Plus to report their data, manages facility accounts and users at both central registry and facilities, configures display types, edit sets, and system preferences, manages assignment of abstracts to central registry staff, exports data, and views reports.
  • Local administrator: Manages the users who are allowed to access Web Plus at one facility.
  • File uploader: Uploads files of abstracts in the appropriate NAACCR format that were not abstracted using Web Plus, views EDITS error report, and cleans errors on rejected files prior to re-uploading.
  • Follow-back supervisor: Uploads files of partially-filled follow-back abstracts, manually adds follow-back abstracts online, tracks follow-back abstracts by uploaded file or by facility, and generates and views Web Plus follow-back reports.
  • Follow-Back monitor: Tracks follow-back abstracts by assigned facility and generates and views Web Plus follow-back reports.

Other Web Plus security features include—

  • All users of a facility have access to all abstracts entered for the facility.
  • Web Plus keeps an extensive log of user logins, data accesses, and updates for auditing purposes.
  • Users’ accounts can be configured to be locked out after a set number of failed attempts to login.
  • Users’ accounts can be deactivated temporarily by the administrator.
  • The central administrator can see what page the user has accessed.
  • Display types and edit set configurations are centrally controlled.
  • User passwords are encrypted using a one-way hash method.
  • The connection string to the server database can be encrypted.

Security Features of the Network Infrastructure

Security on the client computer. Anti-virus and anti-spyware software should be installed on the client computer, and these programs should be updated regularly.

Secure communication channel. Web Plus relies on a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) channel between the Web server and the client browser to protect the data exchanged over the Internet. This secure communication channel is not part of Web Plus, but is required for Web Plus to send data securely.