Eliminating the risk of email breaches

Posted: Nov 06, 2014
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Vast amounts of sensitive information is shared within the healthcare industry every day.

Email may sound like the most logical tool for sharing such information – it’s quick, fast and easy to use – but it is also inherently insecure.

The most common pitfall of email is quite simply human error – sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient, for example. But arguably the biggest issue with email is that of password management.

Unfortunately, users are often unaware of best-practice procedures regarding password management. A password which is perceived to be secure because it’s highly personalized, or contains a combination of letters and numbers, for example, can be more vulnerable to compromise than you might think. This is particularly true if the same password is used elsewhere online, to access less secure online platforms, such as social networks.

On the rare occasion – during vacations, illness, or when leaving a company, for example – users may share their passwords with colleagues via email. This again presents a number of potential threats, as the information could quite easily get mislaid or intercepted.

To provide some context, a recent study from the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) revealed that 6% of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) breaches are a result of incorrect mailing, and 11% attributable to unauthorized access and disclosure.

To avoid becoming part of these statistics, businesses would be wise to move away from email platforms and invest in a secure cloud fax solution.

Embracing cloud computing, and more specifically cloud fax technology, allows users to share sensitive information such as passwords and login information with a level of security that traditional email cannot match.

The HIPAA regulatory body exists to protect Protected Health Information (PHI) which extends to physicians and clinic office managers, pharmacists and health insurers. Choosing a cloud fax provider who meets these regulatory standards is the first step to achieving the secure transfer of sensitive information and reducing the risk of data breaches. A strong encryption service will help sustain the highest levels of security when transferring sensitive documents and data such as passwords.