Nowadays, the simple login process can be enhanced and the security made stronger by newer technologies such as multi-factor authentication. In this case, the user would be sent a single use code that would be sent to the user using another channel such as an SMS (text message) or an automated voice call to a pre-registered phone number. The user would need to use this code together with the username/password to gain access to the system.
The username/password together with multi-factor authentication controls access to a pre-registered group of users.
Multi-factor authentication can quickly become onerous if the system is used to grant limited viewing privileges to third party users not pre-registered, such as other radiologists for second opinions, a patient’s primary care doctor, etc. Creating user accounts for these users who access the system once or a few times can become an administrative nightmare. However, new standards have just emerged, such as OAuth.5 an open standard to authentication. Using OAuth, third party users can gain access limited and secure access to HTTP service using their credentials that they have registered with Google or some other healthcare organization. This technology allows
i. Web-based PACS to grant limited access to services such as viewing DICOMs without having to first create accounts. This eliminates the administrative overhead to create and manage third party accounts
ii. Third party users can access the system using their own credentials without but without having to disclose anything to the web-based PACS system.
This process makes it remarkably convenient to share information in a secure manner without compromising security.