Security threats, data breaches and cyberattacks continue to rise within healthcare, financial, legal, government and hospitality industries. Whether it’s the Yahoo data breach affecting 3 billion accounts or the data breach of Marriott’s Starwood guest database compromising the private information of up to 500 million guests, personal information exposed in data breaches often makes its way to the black market where it can be purchased and used for identity theft and targeted email phishing schemes.
When a data breach occurs within a hospital, the consequences can be deadly. According to the Protenus Breach Barometer report, more than 8 million patient records were breached in 2018 alone. Unfortunately, resolving the after effects of a data breach tends to preoccupy a doctor’s time to the extent that patients no longer receive quality care. A researcher from Vanderbilt University reported more than 2,100 patient deaths are linked to hospital data breaches each year.
Organizations must employ proper security measures to help prevent breaches from happening in the first place. Industry experts agree that the biggest cybersecurity challenge within the healthcare sector last year was, in fact, email. Though organizations can take measures to ensure that their email solutions are compliant with data privacy regulations, an email message typically will pass through multiple servers before it reaches the final point of delivery. This indirect transmission method leaves protected health information and other unstructured data vulnerable to imminent threats of cyberattacks, malware and device or server crashes. The “Verizon 2018 Breach Investigations Report” found that 92% of malware is delivered by email.
As attackers are continuously finding new ways to compromise personal information, organizations must use document delivery systems with adequate encryption to secure endpoints and encrypt sensitive information that is both in transit and at rest. Fax remains to be one of the most trusted document delivery methods available today, and its key role in healthcare data security best practices is the reason why the online fax market is projected to be worth $2.4 billion by 2022.
By leveraging the security of fax technology with the scalability of the cloud, organizations can exchange sensitive information faster and more securely. Ideal for the healthcare industry, fax can securely transport unstructured data while complying with government-mandated regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). While fax can seem like a dirty word to many, newer delivery systems embrace the concept of fax to deliver rich document content with modern-day secure transmission technologies.
Well-defined, end-to-end encryption methods such as those defined in the Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) can guarantee data is secure at each endpoint of the transmission. As the name implies, ECIES is a hybrid encryption “scheme” that defines methods to secure and transfer information between two endpoints. These methods start with the use of Elliptic Curve Cryptography to generate a shared secret between peers to seed the encryption process with unique keying material while further protecting the information using signing and authentication mechanisms to assure the validity of the data in transit.
Implementing a fax solution that utilizes ECIES guarantees that information is encrypted from the moment it leaves the sending device or application until it is accepted and validated by the receiving party. Even if a third party attempted to eavesdrop on the network communication, the information itself would be indecipherable. Most importantly, end-to-end encryption schemes allow secure transmissions even over unsecured channels.
Fax technology is no longer synonymous with slow machines, phone lines, paper and toner. Today, fax is cloud-based and virtual, providing new ways for businesses to securely send and receive information from a virtually unlimited number of endpoints and devices. Both corporate enterprises and hospitals alike find online faxing a desirable solution for document transmission for its cost-effectiveness, security, scalability, automation capability and increased cloud adoption.