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HIPAA Compliance Email Security for Healthcare Industry



As a healthcare professional, you are most likely very well versed in all aspects of HIPAA compliance; the act of maintaining the integrity and protection of your patients' medical treatment records and other healthcare data. This can already be sufficiently tricky when you're managing intranets and internal frameworks, yet when you're keeping up a website or routinely transmitting information electronically; HIPAA compliance turns out to be considerably more troublesome. SD3 Corporation has made a "HIPAA compliance checklist" for you to verify as you determine whether your website is HIPAA compliant.



In the event that you as of now maintain a restorative healthcare practice site or are arranging a site compliance outline, ask yourself:

  • Is the greater part of my information encrypted? This incorporates transmitted information, as well as filed or archived information.

  • Will I legitimately discard or purge stored information? This includes erasing all reinforcements and chronicles, or any example in which the information being referred to is stored on your server.
  • Do I have a HIPAA Privacy Officer? This necessary role is assigned to ensure that your practice is adhering properly to all private, state, and government principles and controls.
  • Is a duplicate of my HIPAA compliance policy prominently presented on my site? This will help you and your team in conforming to HIPAA compliance norms and reassure your patients.


Related Article: 6 Key Features to Consider for HIPAA Compliant Web Design


Top 6 ways to protect patient’s data and stay ahead of the threat:


1. It’s good to use strong data encryption: Whether you are storing PHI data on your desktop, or on a server or in the cloud, it should be encrypted. Encryption is an easy way to obscure your data and thus it is difficult to decrypt by anyone who doesn’t have the key. Data encryption is not only the best practice for information security but is also necessary to maintain HIPAA compliance. According to HIPAA Breach Notification Rule, it gives businesses 60 days to notify all parties who are affected by unsecured protected health information. Unsecured in this case refers to “unencrypted.”


2. Proper encryption of emails is necessary: A lot of PHI is exchanged over email, so HIPAA compliant email should require encryption. In this post HITECH word, data shared between doctors and their patients is useful for enterprising hackers, and emails are most vulnerable to these attacks. Because of this, most hospitals use Transport Layer Security to encrypt messages.


3. Use multi-factor authentication wherever possible: Multi-factor authentication makes the access to your data safe even if a hacker steals your password. In the absence of multi-factor authentication your password is a single point of failure and a vulnerability, so to overcome this issue HHS recommends that the businesses in addition to the password should also possess a token or smart card, or a biometric like fingerprint or iris scan for identity verification. These are both examples of multi-factor authentication that go beyond just a password.


4. All of your employees should be HIPAA compliance experts: The standard HIPAA lists among its Administrative Safeguards is "Security and Awareness" training. Any business can only be as secure as its least attentive worker. All it takes is one tired, rushed or distracted employee uploading notes to their personal cloud, or keeping written passwords in visible places to violate HIPAA compliance laws. It’s essential to make absolutely certain that each and every worker is fully trained in and diligently adheres to all HIPAA and HITECH rules, in addition to ensuring that your company’s security policies are equally strict.


While several of the technical safeguards that shield HIPAA compliance are machine-controlled, like regular session logouts and password quality requirements, nothing will replace thorough training and adequately secure data sharing if that is central to your system-wide and enterprise-wide internal security posture.


5. Check the security practices of business associates:  There are a number of precautions any HIPAA-covered entity ought to take once it enters into a business associate agreement, as well as securing the right to audit the associate for compliance. HIPAA compliance rules include mutual obligation to encrypt shared PHI so that your business associate can’t pass PHI from your patients to other subcontractors without your approval.


6. Take care of social engineering and internal threats: Data leaks are the result of both internal and external malice. According to recent research, more than 30% of the security incidents come from within the organization itself and more than 60% of malicious hacks are the result of social engineering.


Related Article: Does your mHealth app need to be HIPAA compliant?

Social engineering can be as simple as someone walking into a hospital with clothing or a uniform that makes them appear to be a legitimate repair person or other qualified technician, and the trust that this trick may impart can allow them to leave the hospital with sensitive PHI. Take proper measures so that your internal security audits not only address the likely, expected scenarios but also more creative internal data threats.


Tags: Healthcare Apps, HIPAA Complaince Email Security, HIPAA compliance checklist, HIPAA Compliance web portal

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