How protected are your emails? Are you utilizing proper encryption software?
Data breaches happen every day, but only about 4% of data breaches are considered “secure breaches” – breaches where the stolen data was fully encrypted and rendered useless.
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Many health care providers believe that they are sending encrypted messages, when in fact their emails are only half-protected. There are actually two different states of data – data at rest and data in transit – each with its own encryption needs.
Data at rest is information that is sitting on a hard drive, the cloud, or other storage location. Data at rest encryption software protects that non-moving data, such as the email messages in your inbox. This type of encryption is what most people are thinking about when they say their emails are encrypted.
Equally as important, however, is data in transit. When your message leaves your email account, it is no longer protected by the data at rest encryption software. That message will arrive in the receiver’s inbox unencrypted and entirely accessible by that person, regardless of whether you intended that person to receive the information.
You need to have a separate encryption process in place that specifically encrypts data in transit, so that when the receiver is an unintended recipient the data will be inaccessible.
Typically, data in transit encryption programs require the recipient to login with a password to access encrypted messages, so that only the intended person is able to view the message and any data carried within it.
If you’re not sure whether your email messages are fully protected, we can help.
We can help you establish a data protection strategy and create/update your HIPAA Compliance Plan to ensure that you and your organization are prepared to prevent and respond to a data breach.
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