The subject of HIPAA can be a complicated one. But ensuring your email meets the privacy and security requirements of HIPAA should not be a difficult task. To ensure that your email is HIPAA compliant, you need to look into the following areas.
First, you must clean your organization’s email. This means outgoing and incoming email must be thoroughly scanned. Cloud-based scanning of email means all your email is checked for malware, phishing, spam, and viruses, before it ever lands on your network. Email spam, phishing, and malware are so prevalent, that using a multi-engine SaaS cloud-based email security service is one of the only ways to ensure your email is clean before delivery.
Your email is encrypted and stored in an encrypted format
Encryption is key because it prevents prying eyes from seeing your email in transit, or after it’s been stored on a remote server. One detail that not everyone knows about email is this: email is stored by mail servers in the same format in which it arrives. This means emails sent in plain-text format are saved in plain-text. Mail often lands and is stored on multiple mail servers before it hits its final destination. The only way to safeguard that email is to encrypt it so it cannot be read when stored. HIPAA email encryption means that patient information and data is stored in a manner that is compliant with current regulations.
Your email is scanned and ‘clean’
For good measure your email has a data recovery policy and business continuity plan in place
Your secure email service must also include business continuity and disaster recovery in the event of something unfortunate transpiring. There’s no way around it. Bad things happen routinely and cannot always be avoided. Business continuity and disaster recovery mean your business email continues to run, and anything that may have been lost can quickly be recovered.
Your email has to be archived in order to prove compliance issues
You need to make sure your email is stored so that you can prove compliance in the event of an inquiry. You have to be able to quickly produce emails in an accepted format. This means you need to be continuously archiving your emails and storing them in the proper format, before this becomes an issue.