So you think you know fax?
Four common myths debunked
Most people’s perception of fax is that it’s archaic and has no place in the modern workplace, particularly in healthcare settings, where speed and security of communication is critical. While this may be true of traditional fax machines, cloud fax offers many unique benefits that are ideally suited to withstand the rigors of modern healthcare.
Cloud fax is helping to change the perception of fax as a means of communication by putting the following common myths to rest:
1. Faxing is expensive
Cloud fax services use an entirely digital process that eliminates most of the typical costs of faxing, such as paper, toner and equipment, software licenses and phone lines, maintenance, utilities and more.
Cloud fax services typically charge a small monthly fee per fax number, which includes hundreds of ‘free’ pages per month on every number you purchase. Extra pages over your monthly allotment usually incur a charge measured in pennies per page, so in effect you pay for what you actually use.
In addition to financial savings, cloud fax services enable businesses to save on energy consumption, while simultaneously demonstrating a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. But most important are the the productivity gains that result when employees can compose, send and receive faxes right from their desktop, instead of walking and waiting to send a fax and then waiting again for the delivery confirmation receipt to arrive.
2. Faxing is complicated
Visually, cloud fax is similar to desktop office applications, making for a familiar and efficient method of communication. The user simply logins in to a secure portal or opens a print driver and enters the recipient’s details on the cover sheet, right from their desktop computer, laptop, mobile device or multifunction printer. Documents can then be attached, digitally edited and signed before being securely sent to the intended recipient.
3. Faxing is less secure than email
The traditional fax image is sent over standard analog or digital telephone lines through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). A fax in transmission can only be intercepted by an individual gaining physical access to the phone lines in or outside the buildings at either end of the transmission, which by the way is illegal anywhere in the United States.
For a criminal hacker, that would mean leaving the safety of their mother’s basement and traveling, by car or train or plane, to the street address of the target business, attempting to gain access to the building, and then breaking into a locked utility room or possibly shimmying up a telephone pole, risking arrest or injury in the process, and then to trying and figure out which of the 50 or 100 copper pairs are actually being used as fax lines.
Outside of TV and movies, this type of interception is neither common nor cost-effective, and it certainly isn’t scalable to large numbers.
Email, however, is far more vulnerable – data is stored, copied and forwarded multiple times while passing through any number of mail servers attached to the public Internet, usually without any guaranteed level of encryption, which means information can easily be accessed and read as ‘plain text’ by interlopers.
Moreover, there are numerous examples of high-profile email accounts being hacked through ‘phishing’ attacks that have become increasingly commonplace. And once in the account, the entire trove of stored email is easily downloaded and available for sale to the highest bidder, all easily accessible over the Internet.
Email is an ideal method of communication for sending simple memos and messages as part of day-to-day life, but when it comes to sensitive data, documents, and reports, the best protection of all is a good Cloud fax service that enforces strong end-to-end encryption for your faxed documents in transit, and encrypts them again while they are in storage.
4. Faxing is a thing of the past
Compared with the explosion of email and texting over smartphones and tablets, traditional fax communication would seem to have fallen by the wayside. However, independent research has confirmed that for many industries – including healthcare, government, finance, manufacturing and others, fax usage continues to grow year over year and millions of fax machines and servers are still in operation worldwide.
Meanwhile, the advent of Cloud-based faxing has paved the way for a more secure, more accessible, and more efficient form of communication that has continued to drive the expansion of this traditional process into the 21st century.
To discover more about the benefits of cloud faxing, visit www.scrypt.com/sfax