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Posts Tagged ‘email archival’

Is Email Archival Required by HIPAA?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

Customers often inquire if email archival is required by HIPAA regulations.

There is a great deal of confusion and uncertainty here because:

  1. HIPAA lists many requirements, but does not provide specific instructions on how to implement them. It’s ambiguous, but provides a great deal of flexibility for organizations.
  2. Email archival adds a fixed cost to any email solution – and everyone prefers to avoid unnecessary costs.
  3. Many organizations want to do the minimum needed for compliance due to time and budgetary constraints.

email archival hipaa

In our opinion, email archival is an implicit requirement of HIPAA for all organizations that send ePHI via email. In the next section, we’ll review why.

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Outbound Email Encryption for Google Workspace

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Google Workspace is one of the world’s most popular email platforms. Although it is more than adequate for basic email correspondence, Gmail does not come configured to meet HIPAA email security requirements. To use Google Workspace in a HIPAA-compliant manner, you need to use a third-party connector to secure your communications.

outbound email encryption for google

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10 Tips for Preventing Ransomware Attacks

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

You’re already working long hours. Covid-19 is not letting up and your team is running on empty. Now you need to mitigate yet another virus of a different kind. Preventing ransomware attacks and mitigating their extreme financial impacts (an average of $8,500/hour of downtime) is essential. The following best practices can help your IT and healthcare administrators protect your systems.

Avoiding Ransomware

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What Is Email Archiving and Why Do I Need It?

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

The digital era has changed many things about the way people communicate. In the case of businesses and organizations, especially in the healthcare sector, the changes have been significant. For instance, the threat of fraud and data theft is forcing businesses to keep track of all the messages shared between employees and stakeholders.

Despite the availability of multiple communication tools, email is still the most preferred option for large-scale corporate and organizational-level communication. It estimated that over 250 billion emails are sent each day.

A business with just 1000 employees can generate around 40,000 emails per day. Needless to say, that’s a phenomenal number of emails and keeping track of each one can be tedious. However, it needs to be done, considering the fact that many of those emails contain critical information. In the case of healthcare organizations, those emails can even contain confidential patient data.

Email Archiving is the Answer

It is required that healthcare providers and organizations engaging in HIPAA-compliant emails practice email archiving. Email archiving allows healthcare companies to make things easier by providing them with the confidence that their communications are protected from prying eyes, while also being accessible to authorized personnel via as needed, even during emergencies and email system outages.

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Are you encouraging insecurity via your website forms?

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Many websites have “contact us” pages and include web forms for receiving requests from existing or potential customers. This includes “new patient intake” forms on healthcare providers’ websites. However, if you aren’t using a secure form solution, your web forms may suffer from several serious problems:

  • Spam – Getting unwanted form submissions from bots.
  • Privacy – Often, sensitive data is submitted insecurely through these forms.
  • Archival – You may need an archived record and backup of all submissions.
  • Notices – You may need to be alerted of form submissions, even if you are not online.

Proactive privacy vs. neglect of privacy

When web forms transmit or store data insecurely or otherwise do not treat the data submitted with the level of protection it deserves, you are putting the users of your forms at risk.

The typical argument is that “it is up to the user of the forms to decide if they want to submit sensitive information.” Many insecure forms even have disclaimers requesting people not to submit sensitive information if they have concerns and then ask lots of sensitive questions. Especially without a disclaimer, but even with one, the form is actively soliciting people to submit their information insecurely and requesting them to take risks with their private data. This is not good.

In areas such as healthcare, where these forms are often collecting sensitive health data (protected health information – PHI), the fact that an organization solicits the submission of PHI through insecure, non-HIPAA-compliant means is far from a “best practice.” Why does this happen?

  1. Securing forms is trivial and inexpensive. As the bar is so low for collecting data in a compliant way, it could be considered neglectful to not bother with security and privacy and continue to solicit data insecurely.
  2. People can insecurely send you their own personal PHI any time … when it is done of their own accord. However, when you provide them with a recommended communication channel, and when that channel is not secure, you need to get informed consent from them before you accept the data through that channel. Informed consent means:
    1. Training them in the risks involved.
    2. Getting their explicit sign-off indicating their acceptance of these risks.
    3. Capturing and saving those signed consent forms.

Getting signed consent must be done appropriately, and it imposes a barrier in front of your forms. There is no reason to go through all the work to set up informed consent when it is simpler to secure the forms themselves.

You can block form spam, ensure content security and privacy, archive form submissions, and even get text message notices of new submissions to your phone using LuxSci Secure Form. And it takes only a couple of minutes to integrate a secure form into any existing website at any web hosting provider.

How does Secure Form Integrate with a Website Form?

Secure Form is straightforward to set up and integrate. You configure the Secure Form account with what you want to happen to your form data. Then you change one line of your web form (where the form posts go) and copy and paste a line of JavaScript into that page. Setup takes about 5 minutes.

How Does Secure Form deal with Spam, Encryption, Archival, and Notices?

Secure Form blocks web robot spam by determining if a real person is connecting to your form and blocking submissions from anything that is not. Your users do not have to enter any security codes or image (Captcha) codes — the system checks that they are using a modern web browser with cookies enabled and JavaScript working. Most web bots do not support one or both of these standard technologies; all modern browsers do.

Secure Form enables privacy and security by allowing you to ensure that the form data is encrypted from the end-user to your email inbox. It enables the automatic use of secure email delivery, secure FTP uploads, secure online document storage, and more. You can use any or all of these data capture methods.

Secure Form enables archival by saving copies of all form posts in an online document storage area, uploading copies to your FTP site, or saving copies in a database that you can access as needed.

Secure Form enables notices by allowing you to have text messages sent to up to 5 different mobile devices when each form post is submitted. This is in addition to the form data being emailed to where it needs to go. You and your staff can be informed in real-time of new posts, no matter where you are.

LuxSci Secure Form is the swiss army knife of web and PDF form processing tools, integrating quickly with existing websites and providing form security even if your website is not already secured with TLS.