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Posts Tagged ‘email security’

Will Email Ever Be Truly Secure?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Email gateways are a leading cause of security breaches. The optimistic view is that effective email security practices, firewalls, mobile device security, wireless security, endpoint security, web security, behavioral best practices, data loss prevention and network access control – among other solutions – can ensure foolproof security. The realistic view is that email – or anything for that matter – cannot be truly secure.

To err is human. Technology advancement is a boon and a bane: cyber attacks are more sophisticated than before. You can trust no one security solution, place your full trust on end-to-end encryption (currently the most secure way to communicate securely and privately online) or predict when someone will break into your device and access your email.

The road to HIPAA compliance is paved with many risks, possibilities and outcomes. Well-researched and thoughtful implementations are essential but there are many decisions to make and loose ends to tie up. Your ePHI protection, privacy and confidentiality practices may be excellent, but your employees may still mistakenly dispose of a fax machine or hard drive that contains retrievable PHI. Or some of your staff may fail to observe the policy of what needs to be encrypted and what does not.

will email ever be secure

 

And if you thought that email encryption, cryptographic protocols and even your computer system and CPU were protecting your data at all times, think again…

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Email Filtering and Security: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Email is pretty much the only way in which businesses communicate today. According to statistics published in 2015, we were generating over 200 billion emails per day and it was predicted that this figure would grow at a rate of 5% every year. It would be safe to assume that the estimation wasn’t wrong and that we are producing more emails today.

Email has been the preferred option for a wide variety of reasons. To begin with, it is very simple. Everybody knows how to send an email and it really doesn’t take much to learn. Then, there’s the very nature of email that makes it an effective option. You can send an email anywhere and at any time.

But, here’s the thing – simplicity and flexibility are what make email vulnerable. Yes, its biggest strengths are also its greatest weaknesses. Email is so simple that anyone with basic knowledge can intercept it and use it to their own benefit.

You see, email is just like any other form of communication that occurs over the internet. The information is sent over a public network. This includes servers belonging to various third-party entities. These entities can intercept, read, and even alter the email, if the email is not well-secured.  Generally, it is also trivial to forge email and send mass email.

email filtering and security

Needless to say, the statistics reflect this. In 2017, Symantec released a report in which it was estimated that more than half our emails were spam; 54% to be specific. It was also determined that around 1 out of 9 email users encountered malware in early 2017.

In another study from Clutch, 57% of IT decision makers reported that their respective organizations had fallen victim to phishing attacks.

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HIPAA-Compliant Email Checklist – 8 Things You Need to Know

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applies to protected health information (PHI). When stored or transmitted electronically, the HIPAA Security and Privacy Rules require covered entities to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of electronic protected health information (ePHI). The most common way in which ePHI is shared is via email. No wonder then that HIPAA-compliant email security is a critical concern for healthcare organizations, with a majority preferring to outsource this item to knowledgeable providers.

HIPAA compliant email checklist

The HIPAA email security rule

The HIPAA Security Rule pertaining to email explicitly requires adequate protection for all patient data and does not endorse or prohibit the use of any specific technologies to ensure robust protection. The rule lays down four standards:

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Email Security in the Cloud: 7 Things You Need to Know

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Gartner reports that just 13% of global enterprises are using cloud services today, although this percentage is forecasted to rise. A HIMSS Analytics survey of cloud adoption in healthcare organizations reveals that 83% of IT executives use cloud services, mostly running SaaS-based applications in the cloud. In the complex healthcare sector burdened by regulations, there may be some hesitancy to trust the cloud to secure business email, particularly messages containing private/personal health information (PHI).

However, reputed cloud email security providers can do a far better job of ensuring the confidentiality and availability of your email than what your organization may be able to manage, especially if you are cost-constrained.

email security in the cloud

Here are seven things you should know about cloud-based email security.

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SSL versus TLS – What’s the difference?

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

SSL versus TLS

TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are protocols that provide data encryption and authentication between applications and servers in scenarios where that data is being sent across an insecure network, such as checking your email (How does the Secure Socket Layer work?). The terms SSL and TLS are often used interchangeably or in conjunction with each other (TLS/SSL), but one is in fact the predecessor of the other — SSL 3.0 served as the basis for TLS 1.0 which, as a result, is sometimes referred to as SSL 3.1. With this said though, is there actually a practical difference between the two?

SSL versus TLS: What is the differenc?

See also our Infographic which summarizes these differences.

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