Besides HIPAA compliance and workflow efficiency, does secure faxing really matter? It turns out it may be part of a far more important security strategy than is often realized.
A recent article shared the astonishing fact the patients’ healthcare information is vastly more valuable than their credit cards—10 to 20 times more valuable, to be precise. Reportedly, criminals purchase such information in order to obtain resalable prescriptions and equipment, and even to file bogus insurance claims. And unlike a credit card or bank account, medical records cannot simply be ‘frozen’ at the first sign of fraud. To make matters even worse, the difficulty of estimating the impact of or responsibility for security breaches means costs ultimately fall on consumers and patients.
Meanwhile, the prevalence of healthcare-industry attacks is increasing: the article reports that one study found the proportion of organizations experiencing attacks doubled from 20% in 2009 to 40% in 2013. These attacks are all too easy for hackers, who often find little difficult penetrating decade-old computer systems and outdated security protocols. This may not be surprising in an industry whose security measures seldom keep pace with rapid advancement in EMR implementation.
It is painfully clear that healthcare information security is an extremely complex and high-stakes realm, which requires significant investment, coordination, and planning from many stakeholders. In our experience, one critical piece of the puzzle is keeping document transmission and storage effectively impenetrable. In nearly every case we encounter, the most efficient way to do so is through a secure, encrypted fax solution.
Why is that so? As with traditional fax machines, fax servers can transmit via fully secure telephony, as opposed to ‘hackable’ communication such as email. Unlike traditional fax machines, however, fax servers can record all views and activity of every transmission, and in the case of RightFax, can even safeguard all fax images with 192-bit Triple DES encryption (which next week’s post will further explain).