Make sure email is a part of your cybersecurity strategy.
Email archiving is an automated process for preserving and protecting all inbound and outbound email messages (as well as attachments and metadata) so they can be accessed later. In other words, email archiving is storing emails and making them searchable.
Email archiving providers take this burden off organizations by storing emails on their servers while making them accessible to designated administrators in the organization. This is different than simply creating an email data backup. Data backups do not allow searching, so if a particular email needs to be found, it might take weeks for you to find it.
HIPAA delineates what covered entities need to do to maintain compliance, but it does not provide specific guidelines about how to do it. Email archiving is not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the regulations.
Under the HIPAA Security Rule, healthcare organizations have to retain electronic communications data for a minimum of six years. During this time, access and audit controls must be implemented to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (ePHI) to comply with the risk analysis requirements of the Security Rule and prevent improper data modification or deletion.
Email archiving is an effective way to accomplish these HIPAA requirements.
Email archiving solutions generally upload emails to the provider’s servers, where the emails are indexed to allow the archive to be searched. The emails are encrypted which reduces the potential for “man-in-the-middle” attacks where data is intercepted in transit.
Since the archived emails cannot be edited or deleted, they are also tamper-proof.
Service providers impose tight controls over who can access archived emails to view patient data, fulfill an audit request made by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or provide email content for legal purposes.
Electronic discovery, better known as eDiscovery, is the process in which electronically stored information (ESI) is requested, searched, located, and produced with the intent of using it in a court case as evidence, for government investigations, or as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.
If your healthcare business must conduct an audit for eDiscovery purposes, the search capabilities of an email archiver make this a vastly easier, faster, and more comprehensive process.
In addition, emails contain metadata (e.g. information about the device used to send a message or the date and time an email was sent) that is a vital part of legal evidence.
There are many benefits to email archiving for your healthcare business. Here are a few of the main ones.
Email archiving is a cost-efficient safeguard that is easy to use across multiple office locations and protects both your company and patients from concerns over access, integrity, and content security issues.