Email Encryption and Data Security for Healthcare Organizations
In recent years, healthcare organizations have been put under pressure to ensure the security of their patients’ protected health information, or PHI. This includes medical histories, test results, and mental health information, as well as demographic and insurance information.
Due to the personal nature of this data, it’s crucial that it be kept confidential to protect the privacy of the patients. Because this data is so valuable, it’s a prime target for cybercriminals, who can sell PHI on the dark web or attempt to jeopardize it as part of ransomware attacks. Not only can this compromise the financial security of affected patients, but it can also lead to delays in them receiving treatments due to a lack of medical records on file.
As attackers find increasingly sophisticated ways to steal confidential information, healthcare organizations must be vigilant in deploying the correct preventive security measures to protect that data. Encryption is one such measure. Encryption ensures that even if a cybercriminal manages to gain access to email records containing sensitive information, they won’t be able to decipher the data within those records.
The Key Challenges Facing Healthcare Providers
The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires all covered entities (health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers) in the United States to protect electronic PHI at rest, in storage, and in transit. Organizations complying with HIPAA regulations are strongly advised to encrypt any emails being sent externally, i.e. beyond their own firewall, such as exchanging medical information between a healthcare provider and insurance company.
If you fail to properly secure electronic PHI, you could find yourself facing a fine ranging from $100 to $50,000 per violation. Implementing an encryption solution will not only help secure your patients’ data, but could be the preventative measure that saves your organization from enormous financial pressure.
Implementing an encryption service, however, isn’t enough to ensure HIPAA compliance. You need to make sure you’ve configured the service properly, and you’re using your encryption service in the correct way. To do this, there are a few things you should consider:
1. Make sure that your encryption provider signs a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) before you use their service to send any emails containing PHI. This agreement outlines the responsibilities of both you and the provider when it comes to ensuring the confidentiality of your patients’ PHI.
2. You need to acquire written consent from your patients before sending any PHI via email, even if you’re using a HIPAA-compliant email provider. Before patients agree to having their information sent via email, you need to advise them of the associated risks—only after they’ve declared they’re willing to accept these risks can you send PHI via email.
3. Make sure that you store all emails containing PHI in a secure archive, including all documentation related to your use of encryption to secure these emails. The retention period for this information is usually six years, but this can change state-to-state, so be sure to check your state laws on email archiving for HIPAA compliance.
4. You need to configure your encryption service to use end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption secures data at rest and in transit with the use of a public key architecture. This means that the sender uses a public key to encrypt the email and the recipient uses a private key, known only to them, to decrypt it. This means that nobody but the recipient can access the information in an encrypted email—not even the encryption service provider.
How Trustifi Protects Healthcare in Three Steps
Trustifi is a market-leading encryption provider that helps organizations to secure their email content via powerful AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption. Trustifi’s solution is easy to deploy, easy to use for both senders and recipients, and—crucially—enables “one click” HIPAA compliance. Here’s how:
1. With just one click, send secure, HIPAA-compliant encrypted emails from within your regular email client to any recipient—even if they aren’t using Trustifi. Leverage advanced features such as certifiable proof of delivery, message recall and modification, and message expiry dates, so that you know straight away when emails have been received, opened, and read. Leverage two-factor authentication for an added layer of security between a potential attacker and your data.
2. Use Trustifi’s 1-Click Compliance™ feature to eliminate the complexities of maintaining and proving compliance with your regulatory bodies, while ensuring your data remains secure. Simply select with which standards and data loss prevention policies you need to comply, and Trustifi’s AI engine will scan all outbound emails for sensitive content and encrypt them automatically. With the click of a button, make audits more efficient and mitigate human error. Compliance has never been easier.
3. Many encryption services fall flat by making it too complicated for end users to send and receive emails. But everyone has to use a solution properly for it to be effective. With Trustifi, users can send emails with the click of a button, and recipients can open them quickly without having to log into an external portal or create an account. Just enter your SMS authentication code, email PIN, or shared password, and you can read the message right there in your inbox.
Key Features of Our Government Solution
AES 256-bit encryption secures your PHI data at rest, in storage, and in transit, rendering it unreadable to anyone but the sender and verified recipient. Secure mobile relay ensures protection on any device.
Advanced Threat Protection
Trustifi’s AI engine scans all inbound emails in real time for targeted threats such as phishing and ransomware. Eliminate any malicious emails automatically before they reach your users’ inbox.
Data Loss Prevention
1-Click Compliance™ employs a sophisticated rules engine to automatically encrypt sensitive email content, ensuring your data stays secure even if a user forgets to encrypt it.
Email Delivery Tracking
From within your native email client, use the tracking features to confirm the delivery status of your emails, recall and edit messages even after sending, and set email expiry dates. Certify email delivery and tracking.
Easily demonstrate compliance by generating reports of the use of encryption to secure data, including who sent and received encrypted emails, when, and from where.
Deploy in minutes as an add-on to your email client, without any need for technical expertise. And if you run into a hitch? Our 24/7 support team is here to help.
Why Choose Trustifi?
Protect Against Data Breaches
Trustifi offers protection against the most prevalent and dangerous email threats currently targeting healthcare organizations, including social engineering, ransomware, and account compromise. These attacks can be devastating not only for your organization’s infrastructure, reputation, and finances, but also for the personal safety of your patients.
Trustifi’s AI engine scans all inbound emails for anomalous or malicious content, such as phishing links and malware attachments, and removes threats before they reach their target. With Trustifi, you can also create blacklists of known threat actors to prevent repeat attacks. Create whitelists of trusted senders to reduce false positives and ensure your staff can access critical information when they need it.
Trustifi’s 1-Click Compliance™ feature allows you to secure your PHI data in line with HIPAA standards with just the click of a button. Simply choose with which standard you need to comply, and sit back as Trustifi’s AI engine automatically encrypts any emails containing sensitive information—even if a staff member forgets to encrypt it themselves.
Half of the challenge of being compliant is in achieving compliance itself. The other half is in proving that you’re compliant. Leverage Trustifi’s tracking features to track the delivery of encrypted emails and prove that you’re using encryption to secure sensitive data and make your audits that much easier.
Trustifi provides total protection for email. Inbound email is scanned for malicious content in real-time by powerful AI engines, protecting organizations from spam, malware, viruses, phishing, business email compromise, and ransomware. Protection extends to the email inbox, with real-time threat scanning of links and attachments even after email delivery. Outbound messages are protected with secure AES 256-bit NSA-grade encryption, ensuring sensitive data and attachments are always kept protected from malicious threat actors.
Easy-to-Use Encryption and End User Control
Using Trustifi, staff can send securely encrypted emails with the click of a button. Just as easily, recipients can open them—even if they themselves don’t have Trustifi. For an additional layer of security between potential attackers and your sensitive data, you can request that recipients verify their identities via MFA. In this case, they simply enter their custom password or scan a fingerprint and they can access the message.
As well as being user-friendly for end users, Trustifi is easy for administrators to set up and manage. Quickly configure 1-Click Compliance™ and DLP policies to automatically encrypt all sensitive email content so that you don’t have to worry about your users remembering to do it. Allow our AI Engine to scan your inbound emails for malicious content and automatically remediate any threats.