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Posts Tagged ‘compliance’

Why Should You Bother with Information Security? Isn’t Everything Hackable Anyway?

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

With the ever-increasing flow of large-scale hacks, many seem resigned to the fact that its only a matter of time before they get hit too. Security and its challenges have fully penetrated mainstream thought. Everyone knows that the CIA, the FBI, Russia, and even the hacker next door can break into your computer or phone, hijack your router, intercept your traffic, and take over your life.

In response, there has been a huge cry for better training, more secure software, secure email and secure texting. Basically, security everywhere. But if the hackers and agencies are really this powerful, why should you bother?

Cynbersecurity

Are security services and products worth anything these days? Do they actually provide any protection? Or are they the emperor’s new bullet-proof-vest? It is surprising how many people have come to accept a complete lack of security. Some seem to use this as an excuse to avoid technologies that could benefit both their personal and business lives.

A great example comes from a dentist who was interested in sending notices to his patients via text, but resigned himself to “not bothering” as there is “no way to secure these things, anyway.” While that may be true in an absolute sense, it is not true practically.

In this article we will examine the reasons why we should bother with security and how it can help us in our personal and business lives.

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Are you Minimizing your Risk by using the Next Generation of Opt In Email Encryption?

Friday, September 11th, 2015

We have long held that leaving it to each sender/employee to properly enable encryption for each sensitive message (a.k.a “Opt In Encryption”) is too risky.  Why? Any mistake or oversight immediately equals a breach and liability.

Instead, LuxSci has always promoted use of “Opt Out Encryption,” in which the account default is to encrypt everything unless the sender specifically indicates that the message is not sensitive.  The risk with Opt Out Encryption is very much smaller than with Opt In.  (See Opt-In Email Encryption is too Risky for HIPAA Compliance).

The problem is: many companies use Opt In Encryption because it is convenient when sending messages without sensitive information — you just send these messages “as usual,”  without forethought.  These companies are trading large risks in return for conveniences.

LuxSci has solved the “Opt In vs. Opt Out” conundrum with its SecureLine Email Encryption Service.  You could say that SecureLine enables the “Next Generation” of Opt In Email Encryption — combining both usability and security.

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Toggling Between TLS-Only and More Secure Encryption Methods

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

There are many ways to send an email securely.  These range from the super-easy-to-use but less secure “TLS” method (see About SMTP TLS) to the universal “pick it up on a secure portal method” (that we call Escrow), to the very secure but harder to deal with PGP and S/MIME methods.

Many people like to use just TLS for email transmission security whenever possible, simply because it is so easy for everyone to use — you can encrypt everything, using TLS when possible and Escrow when TLS is not supported by your recipients.

However, if you have compliance needs or deal with sensitive information, there are many situations where you may like to “jack up” the level of encryption from just enforced TLS to TLS if possible plus one of the other methods … one that is more secure and which provides for encryption at rest.  (See: Is Email Encryption via Just TLS Good Enough for Compliance with Government Regulations?)

Disabling “Just TLS” on a per-message basis is quite easy with LuxSci.

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5 Things Everyone with HIPAA Email Should be Doing

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Ok — So you have “HIPAA Compliant Email” because you just signed up with a company that says they handle that.  One thing checked off of your “to do” list and on to the next.

Well, not so fast.

HIPAA is a complex beast, as you are probably already aware.  Just signing up for a service that claims to be HIPAA compliant does not mean that you are done.  You may need to:

  1. Learn nuances of what you can and can’t do in order to remain compliant
  2. Train yourself and your staff on these nuances
  3. Make sure that you have purchased all of the things needed by your organization for your particular compliance goals
  4. Ensure that you have set things up properly with your systems and at your new vendor

Here are some of the top things that everyone who has HIPAA-compliant email really should be doing:

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HIPAA Compliant Emails Sent From your Web Site: Best Practices

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

You buy a HIPAA compliant web hosting infrastructure.  You configure your web site to send out email messages in the simplest way, e.g. through PHP mail, or some other generic and standard mechanism.  You think you are all set — but you are not.

HIPAA compliant web hosting services provide a server infrastructure that allows you to be compliant; however, it doesn’t make you compliant.  Your web designers must make choices and program your site so that it properly respects ePHI.  If they do not do all the appropriate things, you will be out of compliance.  E.g. see: 7 steps to make your web site HIPAA-secure.

In particular, email messages sent in the “normal way” from a web site will go out insecurely in a way that will violate the HIPAA Security Rule if they contain ePHI of any kind.  E.g. they will not be encrypted and will not be archived.

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